• #### What if...

From J. Hugh Sullivan@21:1/5 to All on Tue May 5 19:22:49 2020
...a man appears on consecutive censuses in the same county, but not
on a third, do you normally record that he died during the period or
not if you can't locate him? By 1850 you might find his wife without
him.

If you record that he died is your source logic, guess, none or
something else?

Hugh

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• From Dennis@21:1/5 to All on Tue May 5 15:57:32 2020
On Tue, 05 May 2020 19:22:49 GMT, Eagle@bellsouth.net (J. Hugh Sullivan)
wrote:

...a man appears on consecutive censuses in the same county, but not
on a third, do you normally record that he died during the period or
not if you can't locate him?

If he disappears from the 1850 census I record that he died "aft 1840"
with the 1840 census as the source.

--

Dennis

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• From Denis Beauregard@21:1/5 to Sullivan on Tue May 5 18:55:29 2020
On Tue, 05 May 2020 19:22:49 GMT, Eagle@bellsouth.net (J. Hugh
Sullivan) wrote in soc.genealogy.computing:

...a man appears on consecutive censuses in the same county, but not
on a third, do you normally record that he died during the period or
not if you can't locate him? By 1850 you might find his wife without
him.

If you record that he died is your source logic, guess, none or
something else?

Censuses are not always complete. From 1850, you may find the spouse
as a widow, so you can write dead between 1840 census and 1850 census.
But if you can't find the widow, you don't know if he is dead or if
the census is missing.

In my own database, I would say:

dead between census 1850 and 1855-12-15 (if dead in a record dated
1855-12-15)
dead between census 1840 and census 1860 (if widow found in 1860).

Denis

--
Denis Beauregard - généalogiste émérite (FQSG)
Les Français d'Amérique du Nord - http://www.francogene.com/gfan/gfan/998/ French in North America before 1722 - http://www.francogene.com/gfna/gfna/998/ Sur cédérom/DVD/USB à 1790 - On CD-ROM/DVD/USB to 1790

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• From Ian Goddard@21:1/5 to J. Hugh Sullivan on Wed May 6 12:41:44 2020
On 05/05/2020 20:22, J. Hugh Sullivan wrote:
...a man appears on consecutive censuses in the same county, but not
on a third, do you normally record that he died during the period or
not if you can't locate him? By 1850 you might find his wife without
him.

If you record that he died is your source logic, guess, none or
something else?

The only thing you can reliably record is that you didn't find him.
One instance: ggfather's youngest brother present on 1851 but not
thereafter. Two of their older brothers had emigrated to Australia in
1848. The oldest half-brother emigrated to the US in 1852 or 3. All
that can be said of the youngest is that he couldn't be found in 1861.
He may well have emigrated but the US branch appear not to have known of
him in Chicago and I never found any other evidence of him elsewhere.

Another instance: trying to trace an ancestor of one of the visitors at
the drop-in family history sessions I used to run. He was a stone mason
which tends to be a peripatetic profession. His wife was on the census
but down as wife in relation to head of family, not as head herself and
not as widow which were a couple of clues to the fact he was still
alive. After a bit of searching we found him as a lodger, presumably
working on some construction project.

"I don't know" is a perfectly acceptable statement and, if you don't,
the only truthful one. You might qualify it with some possible
explanation and your reasoning but those are secondary.

Ian

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• From Richard Smith@21:1/5 to J. Hugh Sullivan on Wed May 6 13:21:51 2020
On 05/05/2020 20:22, J. Hugh Sullivan wrote:
...a man appears on consecutive censuses in the same county, but not
on a third, do you normally record that he died during the period or
not if you can't locate him?

No, I wouldn't recording him as having died. Unless the man is very
old, there are lots of other very plausible explanations. I'm guessing
you haven't personally looked at every entry in the following census, so perhaps he is there but has been indexed incorrectly by whichever site
you use to access the census. Or perhaps he is present but his details
have been written down incorrectly. Maybe the census taker misheard the surname or simply got distracted and wrote down entirely the wrong word.
I once encountered a census entry where I'm fairly sure the man's
occupation got written down as his surname. (It was something like
'baker', so at least plausible.)

Maybe the man was out of the county visiting friends or relatives, or travelling for employment. That's particularly likely with certain jobs
such as mariners, but itinerant labourers with no financial tie to an
area often travelled surprising distances for work too. It's also
possible the man was in the county but not at home. Certainly in the
UK, he should be listed wherever he spent the night, but if it was a
warm night and the man had not made it to his intended destination or
was short on funds, he may have slept rough, perhaps in a barn, with or
without the owner's permission. I wouldn't then expect him to be
recorded. Or if he were caught out in a remote area, perhaps in bad
weather, a local resident may have taken pity on him and allowed him to
stay the night. They may well not have known more than just his given
name and have made something up for the census taker, or just ignored him.

Finally, it may be that he actively didn't want to be recorded. Perhaps
he was somewhere he shouldn't have been. Maybe he was with a prostitute
or another man's wife. Maybe he was out committing a crime, or trying
to evade detection for a previous crime. Maybe he was trying to stay
out of sight of some aspect of the government, perhaps because he owed
money. Maybe he has paranoid about what the government were going to do
with the information.

Obviously some of these are more likely than others, but in my
experience it's not uncommon for someone to go missing from a census for
a decade or two and then reappear, with no clear explanation for their
absence. I can't find one set of my great grandparents on the 1891 or
1901 census for example. I now know that he was in the army stationed
in the Bengal Presidency in 1891 and was fighting in the Boer War in
1901, but I have no idea where his wife-to-be was.

Richard

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• From dangnearhere@juno.com@21:1/5 to J. Hugh Sullivan on Sun Jul 12 19:55:00 2020
On Wednesday, May 6, 2020 at 3:22:51 AM UTC+8, J. Hugh Sullivan wrote:
...a man appears on consecutive censuses in the same county, but not
on a third, do you normally record that he died during the period or
not if you can't locate him? By 1850 you might find his wife without
him.

If you record that he died is your source logic, guess, none or
something else?

A woman might say she's a widow when she's actually divorced or a single mother since a widow was treated with respect in those days whereas a divorced woman or single mother might be treated contemptuously by some people, for example gossiped about and
unable to get hired.

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