Saturday, January 21, 2012

Census Mistakes: Parent’s birthplace

We all know that there are mistakes in the census.  We complain about mangled names which make it difficult to find our ancestors.  We are confused by ages when the women seem to get younger with every passing 10 years.  I am always skeptical when I see conflicting birthplaces listed for parents, but I figure that a wife (who might have been the one giving the information) might not really know where her husband’s parents were born.  I consider them “hints” rather than “facts”.

In this example from District 16, Waco, McLennan County, Texas, in the 1930 census, the birthplaces of the parents are switched.

Since the people in this listing (L. Lloyd Edmonds and his 4 children) are lodgers, their relationship to each other is not indicated in the census.  However, I know that Amanda M., Lloyd Jr, Lee O., and Vivian are the children of the widower.  (I also know that they spelled Loyd with one L rather than two.)

You will note that the father’s place of birth is listed as Texas, but the place of birth of father on each of the children’s lines is listed as Tennessee.  If you took this at face value, you would think that Loyd might be an uncle rather than the father of these 4 children.  However, the birthplace of the mother is listed as Texas.  In reality, the two columns (birthplace of father and birthplace of mother) are swapped.  Their deceased mother was born in Tennessee.

This makes one wonder if the entire page is similarly transposed, or possibly every page completed by this particular enumerator.

This is just one more thing that we have to be on the lookout for.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Who’s in that Picture?

While gathered with family over the holidays, I was asked a couple of times about the people in the banner photo for this blog.  One brother asked me to blog about it, so here goes.

The picture was taken during the summer of 1928 in Colorado, near the home of Susan Emma Green Prince, “Emma Prince”.  Having been a widow since 1902, Emma Prince was the family matriarch.  Oral history indicates that she lived near Boulder, but she is listed in the 1930 US Census in Lakewood, Colorado, just west of Denver, which is south of Boulder.

The children help with dating of the photograph.  Carolyn (left-most child) was hit by a car and died that summer.  Also, the absence of Golda Emma Prince Collins (Carolyn’s and Grammy’s mother) helps date the photo since she died of pneumonia in 1927.  The children spent the summer with their grandmother, Emma Prince. 

Adults (left to right):

Mallie Prince -- Known in the family as Aunt Mallie, she was born about 1898 in Borden County, Texas.  She was the youngest of the daughters and married A L Jones.
Arthur Prince -- According to Grammy, this is Arthur Prince.  He was the eldest son of Emma Prince, and was born in 1889.  At this time, he was living in Abilene, Texas, and was married to Lela Barker.  It is unclear why his wife was not in the photograph, unless she is the unidentified woman.
Louise Goodwell -- Daughter of AP Goodwell from a prior marriage.
Susan Emma Prince – Grammy’s grandmother, the matriarch of the family.
Unidentified woman
AP Goodwell -- Married to Winnie Prince.
Winnie Prince -- The middle daughter of Emma Prince.  She was born about 1895 and was married to AP Goodwell.

Children (left to right):

Carolyn Collins -- Grammy’s younger sister.  She was almost 5 years old at the time of this picture.
Arthur Goodwell – son of AP Goodwell.  I don’t know whether Winnie Prince was his mother, or if he was the son from a prior marriage.

Comments welcome – especially any information about the Goodwells or the Jones.