Gene Notes

Some random and some not-so-random thoughts on family history.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sometimes ...

Yes, I am still working on the census project. Friday night I was down to 165. That felt like a good number. Saturday morning, while having coffee, I started in on the 1920 census. Well, let me tell you, I did 6 census reports and took the number down to 163. It's not my math. Seriously.

This is how it goes. You open a census record for someone, let's say 1920 census for Arthur W. Petit of Charleston, South Carolina. He's married to Mattie Rumley and it is obvious that Arthur has been married before by the age of his children. But two of the children are pretty young so it is possible they are Mattie's children. You open Athur's record in your genealogy program - in my case RootsMagic 5 - and discover you do not have Arthur & Mattie's 1910 census. You open Ancestry. You find an Arthur W. Petit, born in 1888. Too young, but you open that census page and come across

Frank Petit born 1861 - SC
Mary Petit wife born 1878 - SC
2 children too old to be "Mary's" children, one of which is said Arthur W. Petit.
Harold Petit, age 7
Percival Petit, age 3
Jessie Rumley, sister-in-law.

So I start comparing the 1910 with the 1920. I notice that the 1920 does not include Jessie. Did I miss a page? Yep. Back to the 1920 - download the continuing page. There are 3 more children.

On 1920 they are listed as:
Arthur W. Petit, Sr. born 1861
Mattie Petit, born 1878
Arthur W Petit, Jr born 1888
Harold Petit
James P. Petit (This could be Percival)
Jessie Rumley, sister-in-law.

It was Jessie Rumley and Percival Petit which made me surmise that the transcriber of the original record screwed up the names.  Jessie and Mattie Rumley were the daughters of James G. Rumley & Sarah Louise Percival. Copious notes are made on the 1910 census and it is added to the record.

The next record up is B. Franklin McCarty, 1920 with his family. Sure enough, I go to his record in RootsMagic and there is no 1910 census. So back to to locate it. I don't know why I missed it before. The 1910 census is important because it is the first census on which Ovid R. McCarty appears. Ovid married my mother's cousin Myrtle Whiteside. The McCartys also link up to my dad's Chinn line ...

 Next Record was one for Edd and Blanche Keene McWilliams. You guessed it, no 1910 census. He sometimes shows up as Edward or Edmund. I'm not totally sure which is correct, or whether the transcriber or indexer just couldn't read it. I do find Edward & Blanch McWilliams and so they are added to the queue.
Then I look and realize I don't have them in 1900 either. I am using every trick I know to find them and they are MIA!

Nex Record: 1920 Callie Stone Bowman.  Alright, I have them in 1900 and she is married to William Bowman, and at that time they have one child, Harry. William died in 1906. I am missing 1910. I find her, but she is indexed under Sallie and someone has kindly made the correction to Callie. Three more children appear with her on the census, the last born about 1906. On the 1910, Callie is listed as the mother of 7 children, but only 4 are living. Her husband died of typhoid, could they have lost other children in 1906? A quick check of Mercer county deaths on Ancestry don't really show anything. I'll probably never know.

It sure doesn't seem like I am moving forward on this project!

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes


  1. I just went through something like this. Sometimes an individual was listed by middle names. I have such a hard time with the 1910 Census.

    That is a lot of detective work you are doing!

  2. Stay tuned for Too-Too Thursday and the Basher family!