Re: Census Undercounts #general


At 1:00 AM -0500 on 4/29/06, Joel Weintraub typed:
There are multiple reasons for a person not being found on the U.S. Census
name indexes, just as there are similar reasons for not finding people
(initially) on the Ellis Island manifests.
When I first started looking up my family in the 1920 census, I could not find my
pgf who arrived in 1910. I was easily willing to count that as an undercount but
other genealogists encouraged me to keep looking. I thought it was silly to keep
looking for the same thing.

A few months later, I had heard someone say that census takers never asked the
spelling of a person's name as it was considered rude and wrote down what they
heard. But, wasn't soundex supposed to take care of that?

My pgf came >from Poland, so I figured that he probably spoke a Polish version of
Yiddish and would pronounce our last name as Broom-shtein. That came up with a
different soundex number. Trying a few variations, I found him under Broomstein.

The morale is, as Joel says, there are multiple reasons. Don't give up too
quickly and assume an undercount.


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