Check Under Middle Names
Recently in looking for another non-related family in the 1910 census, I finally found my grandparents, father, and uncles! No wonder I hadn’t been able to find them initially. The family was listed under my grandfather’s middle name. There they were–the whole family with the last name Elwood instead of Reitenbaugh!
I can hear the census taker asking my grandfather what his name was and the reply being â€œJoseph Elwood.â€ Any dummy knew that the census taker had stopped at the Reitenbaugh household. Wasn’t that obvious?
This is probably only one story out of thousands about the ‘hazards’ of finding our ancestors in the census records. I have done the same detail as you suggested for finding family in the 1840 and prior census records. It is tricky to say the least and too often there is more than one household that seems to be a match. I guess that’s what makes genealogy fascinating–the mystery, the search, and the discovery.
Extra People in the Household in Pre-1850 Censuses
When researching in pre-1850 censuses, donâ€™t forget that sometimes those “extra males” were hired help. Even youngsters 12-16 often lived with someone else to help bring home money or food in exchange for their labor.
Srenda M. Scott
Wedding Witness Romances
Don’t dismiss wedding witnesses lightly. They may have been either engaged friends, or at least courting, and could be found married later.
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