Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Census Confusion

Yesterday evening, I went to my local genealogy meeting. While we were there, a friend asked to look at this census for her.

It's the 1910 census for a family. It looks like the parents are Jim and Sue Evans, and they have children: Henry Evans, Claude Futrell, Clyde Futrell, Bettie Futrell, Virginia Futrell and May Futrell. Hopefully at least some of you go "what"? Does this make sense. Pulling up the image, we see the Futrell children at the top of page 27A, so going back to 26B we see the three Evans family. Okay, let's look closely at the places of birth and relationships.
Jim Evans, head, born in Kentucky
Sue Evans, wife, born in Missouri
Henry Evans, son, born in Tennessee, dad born in Kentucky, mom born in Missouri.
Note at the top left the Evans are on Moscow Avenue.
That all makes sense. Now back to page 27A for the Futrell children:
Claude Futrell, son, born in Tennessee, dad born in TN, mom born in TN
Clyde Futrell, son, born in TN, dad born in TN, mom born in TN
Same thing for the three daughters, all born in TN with dad and mom born in TN.
Also note on the left the enumerator is on Holly Street.
So where are their parents? Because Jim and Sue Evans don't seem to be the Futrell parents.
Well scroll one more page forward to page 27B and scroll clear to the bottom.
There are the bottom are J. G. and Carrie Futrell. J. G. was born in Missouri (okay, I would've expected Tennessee, so this may not be correct), and Carrie born in Tennessee. Look up at the top and the census taker is again (still) on Holly Street. So here are our choices:
A. For some reason the Futrell children are living with the Evans in 1910.
B. Page 27A and 27B got switched by the census taker, and really the Futrell children are where we would expect, with their parents.
At first my friend thought choice A was correct, as she had heard maybe Carrie was considered "idiotic" in a previous census, so perhaps she was unable to take care of the children.
After I showed her this, she now agrees with choice B. It looks as if the census taker got these pages switched.
It turns out that "idiotic" comment was about a different relative.

Lessons learned: (1) Always look closely at the people (and sometimes pages) around your people on the census. (2) If something doesn't seem right, have a genealogy friend take a look at it. A fresh set of eyes can bring a new perspective.

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