Gene Notes

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

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Fountain of Youth?

Do you ever wonder how people drop 10 years off their age? Especially on the census?

I am working on a death certificate for Aileen Robertson, daughter of Kate Cooley & Oscar Robertson. She was born according to the 1900 and 1910 censuses in 1885. Between 1910 and 1920 she aged one year. The same goes for her mother, Kate Cooley Robertson.

According to her death certificate, she was born September 15, 1897. The informant was her mother. I noticed mom getting younger on the census too! However, Aileen was 15 in 1900, according to the census. Suspicious? Well, yes! In 1930, I finally found Kate Robertson, a widow, still living on Wilburn* Ct in Kansas City according to the census taker. And, lookie, Kate has shaved 13 YEARS off her age, giving her birth year as 1870! Unfortunately, I am still unable to locate daughter Aileen.

A friend and fellow researcher insists that people are less likely to lie to the official representative of the United States Government - the census taker. I say "baloney." Either that or they were so intimidated they didn't know what to answer. My own mother-in-law told me she was so nervous when the census taker came for the 1950 census (the first one where my DH appears,) she reversed my hubbies age with the number of years they were married!

* The address is 5218 Hilburn Ct. on the 1930 census. On the death record it appears as Wilburn. Google Maps confirms 5218 Wilburn Ct.

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

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