1930 census - invented people #usa #general #records


alwitz@...
 

The 1930 U.S. census lists three children in my (HERSHKOWITZ) family that never actually existed. They are listed at ages 4yrs, 2 yrs and 6 months with the youngest named Dave Jr, after the head of that household, who was living. That naming is not even remotely possible in my family.

The question is: does anyone have a similar finding, or an explanation of who would invent  the census entries, and why would they do it?

Allen Herskowitz
Suart Fl
HERSKOWITZ, HERSHKOWITZ, BOROFSKY


Susan&David
 

Are you certain it is not another David HERSHKOWITZ family?

David Rosen
Boston, MA

On 11/2/2020 7:47 AM, alwitz via groups.jewishgen.org wrote:
The 1930 U.S. census lists three children in my (HERSHKOWITZ) family that never actually existed. They are listed at ages 4yrs, 2 yrs and 6 months with the youngest named Dave Jr, after the head of that household, who was living. That naming is not even remotely possible in my family.

The question is: does anyone have a similar finding, or an explanation of who would invent  the census entries, and why would they do it?

Allen Herskowitz
Suart Fl
HERSKOWITZ, HERSHKOWITZ, BOROFSKY


boris
 

Is there corroborating evidence to prove that the family in the 1930's Census is YOUR family? Hershkowits/variants was - and still is - a quite common name.

 


Virus-free. www.avast.com

--
_______________________________________
Boris Feldblyum
FAST Genealogy Service
boris@...


Kenneth Ryesky
 

One persistent problem in searching my maternal grandfather's side of the family is that my g-grandparents took all kinds of measures to obscure, twist, and disinform the world regarding their origins.  Their daughter (my great aunt) insisted upon spelling her surname "Silverman" even though everyone else spelled it "Silberman" (which was always understood to not have been their surname in the old country); even her high school report card spelled it with a "v."

 

When I asked "Aunt Betty" about family history, she pleaded with me to not ask those kinds of questions and to "just leave it all alone."

 

Fast-forward 30-something years:  In downsizing my mom's house I found, in the folder of "Aunt Betty's" nursing home admission (my mom had made all the arrangements), correspondence with a psychologist which noted that "Aunt Betty" lived in fear that Russian agents would kidnap her and take her back to the old country (she came here as an infant in 1901 +/-, and this was all during the Cold War years).

 

 

Though I found no "invented persons" in my own family in any Census record, one can readily imagine someone with a paranoia level on par with "Aunt Betty" and her parents inventing people in order to confuse their pursuers, real or imagined.

 


--
Ken Ryesky,  Petach Tikva, Israel     kenneth.ryesky@... 

Researching:
RAISKY/REISKY, ARONOV, SHKOLNIK(OV), AEROV; Gomel, Belarus
GERTZIG, BRODSKY; Yelizavetgrad, Ukraine
BRODSKY, VASILESKY; Odessa, Ukraine
IZRAELSON, ARSHENOV; Yevpatoriya, Ukraine (Crimea)


Sally Bruckheimer
 

" took all kinds of measures to obscure, obscure, twist, and disinform the world regarding their origins"

Different spellings were common. There was no standard spelling in the US until the mid-20th century, and immigrants who weren't fluent in English didn't worry about it.

I know Berzons and Birsons; Felkowskis and Falkowskis. Both families are related among themselves - it wasn't trying to confuse people, it just happened. Silberman and Silverman are both the same name, so don't get hung up on the spelling.

My second rule of genealogy, when I taught it, was 'Spelling doesn't count'.

Sally Bruckheimer
Princeton, NJ


Deanna Levinsky <DEANNASMAC@...>
 

In reviewing census records from the very early 1900s I found an uncle Morris listed as Mary and a cousin Dasha as David. Possible causes for listings you think of as errors or omissions:
Census taker couldn’t understand foreign accents and wrote whatever they thought they heard
There were relatives‘ children/orphans  living temporarily in the home
There were “boarders” living in the house, perhaps being passed off as family 
In short- Language differences, economic difficulties and fear of government created both deliberate and accidental errors in reporting 
Deanna Levinsky 
--
Deanna Mandel Levinsky

--
Deanna M. Levinsky, Long Island, NY


Kenneth Ryesky
 

Sally, the Silberman/Silverman difference was in the same household, and the odd one out was still legally a minor.

As for spelling, what with the transition from Cyrillic to Roman (and now, to Hebrew) alphabets, my surname has been spelled various ways, including Ryesky, Raisky, Reisky, etc. (Just as well, there were enough Communist Party apparatchiks (and nomenklaturaniks) who would have caused problems with my security clearance and my dad's if the family connection had been made).


--
Ken Ryesky,  Petach Tikva, Israel     kenneth.ryesky@... 

Researching:
RAISKY/REISKY, ARONOV, SHKOLNIK(OV), AEROV; Gomel, Belarus
GERTZIG, BRODSKY; Yelizavetgrad, Ukraine
BRODSKY, VASILESKY; Odessa, Ukraine
IZRAELSON, ARSHENOV; Yevpatoriya, Ukraine (Crimea)


Moishe Miller
 

Hi,
I understand you believe, "The 1930 U.S. census lists three children in
my (HERSHKOWITZ) family that never actually existed."

How do you know that they never existed?

Moishe Miller
Brooklyn, NY
moishe.miller@...
JGFF #3391
--

Moishe Miller
Brooklyn, NY
moishe.miller@...
JGFF #3391


Michele Lock
 

Was this 1930 census from New York City? When I have researched into New York City relatives, I could not believe the number of persons with the same name and birth year. For instance, I found 8 persons named Max Goodman, all born in 1892 to 1893, living in NYC in the early 1900s. It took me a week to confirm which was the correct Max Goodman, and I was lucky because he always used the same birth date, unlike so many of our immigrant forebears.

Even uncommon Jewish names can be held by more than one person or couple in NYC. I was searching for documents for the couple Lena and Sam Citron. I found the naturalization papers for Lena Citron, and her husband's name was Sam, and the papers had the correct year of birth for her. I thought I'd hit the jackpot - until I read the papers, and saw this couple was born in Galicia. The correct Lena and Sam Citron were from Bialystock. I could hardly believe it - there were two couples in New York City, both named Lena and Sam Citron, both who immigrated in the early 1900s.

So, as others have suggested, check to make sure you have the correct Hershkovitz family. Check ages of parents, the years the parents immigrated to US, the occupations of the parents, etc. These need to match up with information in other census records for the family.

And - it may be that the children were given up for adoption, or sent into foster care through what we now call Jewish Family Services, or taken in by relatives. 

Michele Lock

Lock/Lak/Lok and Kalon in Zagare/Joniskis, Lithuania
Olitsky in Alytus, Suwalki, Poland/Lithuania
Gutman/Goodman in Czestochowa, Poland
Lavine in Trenton, New Jersey and Lida/Minsk gub., Belarus


Dahn Cukier
 

My father is listed as grandson age 3, there are also 2 girls aged 15 and 17 in
the house. My father's first cousin never heard of this "grandfather"
and has no knowledge of the family. My grandparents lived near by.

Dahn Cukier

When you start to read readin,
how do you know the fellow that
wrote the readin,
wrote the readin right?

Festus Hagen
Long Branch Saloon
Dodge City, Kansas
(Gunsmoke)


On Monday, November 2, 2020, 6:53:26 PM GMT+2, Deanna Levinsky <deannasmac@...> wrote:


In reviewing census records from the very early 1900s I found an uncle Morris listed as Mary and a cousin Dasha as David. Possible causes for listings you think of as errors or omissions:
Census taker couldn’t understand foreign accents and wrote whatever they thought they heard
There were relatives‘ children/orphans  living temporarily in the home
There were “boarders” living in the house, perhaps being passed off as family 
In short- Language differences, economic difficulties and fear of government created both deliberate and accidental errors in reporting 
Deanna Levinsky 
--
Deanna Mandel Levinsky

--
Deanna M. Levinsky, Long Island, NY


grayps@...
 

If there is a 1925 census available, check it to verify that this is the correct family.  Also, check other sources - phone books, city directories, etc. to verify that this is your family.  
--

Susan Gray, Chicago
Searching:

 -FELDSTEIN / FELDSZTAJN / FELTON / FELTYN etc.; GOLDBERG; WEINSTEIN / WEINSZTEIN etc. from Warsaw, Lutsk, Kamenets Podolskiy, Kholm.
-APPLE / APPEL / APEL etc; TAUB; LINEAL / LINIAL; KLEIN from Burshtyn, Rogatin, Sarniki, Putyatinsy, Dem'yanov, Solova.
-PAILET / PEYLET / PAILED / PEJLET etc; ITZCOVITZ / ITSKOVITCH etc. from Butrimonys, Panosiskes, Nemajunai, Vilnius, Drosgusitz.
-RATSAN / RACAN; SIROTA from Butrimonys, Jieznas, Brishton.


Diane Jacobs
 

Again, people don't know all their family stories. My mother never knew she had 8 great aunts and uncles in NYC until I started doing genealogy.  Her mother and aunt kept it all a secret from the entire family. I found them all and was able to share with my family in the US and Israel.

Diane Jacobs 



Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

-------- Original message --------
From: Moishe Miller <moishe.miller@...>
Date: 11/2/20 6:34 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: main@...
Subject: Re: [JewishGen.org] 1930 census - invented people #records

Hi,
I understand you believe, "The 1930 U.S. census lists three children in
my (HERSHKOWITZ) family that never actually existed."

How do you know that they never existed?

Moishe Miller
Brooklyn, NY
moishe.miller@...
JGFF #3391
--

Moishe Miller
Brooklyn, NY
moishe.miller@...
JGFF #3391
--
Diane Jacobs, Somerset, New Jersey


Diane Jacobs
 

When I first started research over 20 years
ago, I was told by a family member that she had the death certificate for Morris Rosenberg buried on Staten Island with the correct age and month and year.  I went to the NYC Municipal Archives and actually found his correct death certificate with a couple of days difference.
This family member had researched her family in New England going back 13 generations to the Mayflower, but didnt realize that Jewish research in  NYC can be tricky. Here you have to be diligent, careful, and patient.

Diane Jacobs



Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

-------- Original message --------
From: Michele Lock <michlock77@...>
Date: 11/2/20 8:35 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: main@...
Subject: Re: [JewishGen.org] 1930 census - invented people #records

Was this 1930 census from New York City? When I have researched into New York City relatives, I could not believe the number of persons with the same name and birth year. For instance, I found 8 persons named Max Goodman, all born in 1892 to 1893, living in NYC in the early 1900s. It took me a week to confirm which was the correct Max Goodman, and I was lucky because he always used the same birth date, unlike so many of our immigrant forebears.

Even uncommon Jewish names can be held by more than one person or couple in NYC. I was searching for documents for the couple Lena and Sam Citron. I found the naturalization papers for Lena Citron, and her husband's name was Sam, and the papers had the correct year of birth for her. I thought I'd hit the jackpot - until I read the papers, and saw this couple was born in Galicia. The correct Lena and Sam Citron were from Bialystock. I could hardly believe it - there were two couples in New York City, both named Lena and Sam Citron, both who immigrated in the early 1900s.

So, as others have suggested, check to make sure you have the correct Hershkovitz family. Check ages of parents, the years the parents immigrated to US, the occupations of the parents, etc. These need to match up with information in other census records for the family.

And - it may be that the children were given up for adoption, or sent into foster care through what we now call Jewish Family Services, or taken in by relatives. 

Michele Lock

Lock/Lak/Lok and Kalon in Zagare/Joniskis, Lithuania
Olitsky in Alytus, Suwalki, Poland/Lithuania
Gutman/Goodman in Czestochowa, Poland
Lavine in Trenton, New Jersey and Lida/Minsk gub., Belarus
--
Diane Jacobs, Somerset, New Jersey


kosfiszer8@...
 

Make sure the children are members of the same household (street number and dwelling id) of the "parents". I came across a census page in New York city were the children were not listed immediately after the parents; on a separate page. The common household id (in separate pages) was the only way to find out the children and parents were related. Seems that the census taker may have gone back and registered the children at a different time that he/she registered the parents.
Angel Kosfiszer
Richardson, Texas.


Christine Hills
 

An enumerator filled out the form in the US 1930 census so it is possible that the family were not at home when the enumerator called and that a neighbor was asked and and gave their own false assumption or simply made it up.  I have known this to happen much more recently than 1930. Some enumerators just wanted to get finished and even asked children to tell them who lived next door or at a particular house.  Unless you know who gave the information you have no means of assessing  its accuracy. 
Certainly the majority of returns are accurate, but I wouldn't take it as certain without confirmation from other records.
Christine Hills tinasusanamy@...  living in Dublin Ireland


Susan H. Sachs
 

Since my family name was also originally Herskowitz / Herschkovics etc. - I follow the reasoning of many of the respondents.

Also, the suggestion to look at other census records, such as 1940. 

Or these children may have been foster children, nieces/nephews of an over-burdened relative, etc. who were taken in temporarily.

Finally, unfortunately, 90 years ago there was still a much higher mortality rate for young children than today, especially since penicillin was not available then.  So, sadly, you might want to check death records as well.

Good luck!

Susan Hersh Sachs
HERSKOVICS - Munkacs;   KLEIN - Barkaso; WEISS - Gulacs

, Klein, Weiss - McKeesport


schaffer6896@...
 

I was an enumerator for the recent 2020 census. I can tell you that there is no assurance that the census information is accurate.  I don't know how it worked in 1930, but this year we were told that after repeated attempts to reach someone in a residence failed, we were instructed by our superiors to approach neighbors or a building manager for information.  In several cases, I was able to eventually contact the actual resident and found that the information they gave me was usually different than the information I had received from the neighbor or building manager.  So, in short, just because it says so in the census, doesn't mean its true.
David Schaffer
Vienna, Virginia


alwitz@...
 

Thanks to everyone for he ideas/alternative explanations.
a few more details - this was isolated to the 1930 census.
It was the inventory of the house my Grandparents lived in for many years and the list included my Grandmother and Grandfather, my mother one aunt and one uncle all the lived long lives.
There is no question about them being my family, confusion of the name, etc.

The mystery entries are three younger children, listed in the census as children.
None of my family have ever heard of temporary cousins, hidden neighbors, child mortality at this time.
There were lots of stories about earlier infant mortality in Russia so children dying was not a tabu subject in the family.

Only three possibilities I can imagine:  1) The Census taker made up the extra children for some reason, 2) My grandparents invented the extra children for some reason, 3) Some neighbor answered the census for my family incorrectly.
This was the depression - would there have been a reason for making your family appear larger?

Allen Herskowitz
Suart Fl
HERSKOWITZ, HERSHKOWITZ, BOROFSKY


ewkent@...
 

Hi to all who will read this post.

I am not sure that my own US Census/genealogy story counts exactly as "invented relatives" (although it seems to involve persons who were not relatives of mine who were counted in the US Census as (in fact) relatives of a relative of mine)  -- and may not involve persons who never existed, but (echoing Deanna Levinsky's noticing boarders being possibly "passed off as family") I have what seems to be a story of landlords (or possibly boarders -- in any case (if they actually existed) older persons) being "passed off as family".

In the 1910 US Census listing (from Brooklyn) for the household (on Johnson Avenue) in Brooklyn for my maternal grandmother's brother (who was then listed with his wife -- and no children; their ages are given as "23" (my great-uncle) and "20" (his wife) ) , a man (age given as "45") whose name is given as "Isidor" (possibly "Isidore") and a woman (age given as "43") whose name is given as "Annie" are listed as "Father" and "Mother" -- and all 4 listed persons are given with the family name of "Pate".

However, the 2 middle-aged persons (if they existed -- and whoever they were) could not have possibly been the parents of my great-uncle Hyman... -- as his sister who was my grandmother (the baby among her siblings -- actually younger than one of her nieces (!) ) was born on Madison Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan (definitely not Madison Avenue)  in May of 1910 (after the Census found her parents' household), and the household into which she was born (which naturally included both her and Hyman's parents) was duly listed in the same 1910 census on Madison Street in Manhattan -- with the parents' names given as "Isaac" and "Annie" Pat (with ages given as (respectively) "50" and "48" (Yes, it seems odd for my great-grandmother to have given birth in her late 40s, but that's "another story" (and her first children were born in the 1880s) ).

My great-grandparents (and their other children) subsequently took the name "Pate" that Hyman had come up with (and my grandmother actually didn't seem to remember having had  any other family name when I talked to her about the "original" family name (around 1980, I think: "Pate" seemed unusual, and possibly changed (as it was...)  ) -- but it seems clear to me that (whatever the situation was on Johnson Avenue in Brooklyn where Hyman and his young wife lived in 1910) the enumerator was somehow deceived (for some reason) into believing that Hyman's parents were living with him and his wife in Brooklyn, although they were alive and well (with 4 children -- 1 full-grown (age given as "22") and working living with them -- and another (my Grandma) "on the way") on a different island within New York City -- in Manhattan (on Madison Street, in what was then the Lower East Side).

I hope that this story is of interest and/or help in this thread.

Sincerely,

Ethan Kent (who grew up on Long Island, and is now in New York City where he was born)
ewkent@...

(Researching 4 main family lines: the Paat/Patt/Pat/Pates who emigrated from Bialystok (in today's Poland), the Kornhausers (who emigrated from Galicia -- from places in today's Ukraine (Turka) -- and probably today's Poland (Stefkowa)) , the Kantors (who emigrated from the Podolia region in today's Ukraine; possibly from Bratslav/Bratzlav), and the Gelperins/Halperins (who emigrated from the city known to Jews of their generation as "Vilna" -- but which is today known on maps as "Vilnius", the capital of independent Lithuania).)


ewkent@...
 

PS: I forgot to note that Hyman Pat/Patt/Pate was the only one of his siblings in 1910 who was male (and who would therefore die with the family name of "Pate" -- which seems to have been adopted by his parents and siblings (those not married) by 1920) ; it seems that his being the only man among his siblings led to his parents and siblings adopting "Pate" with a final "e".

(He died in the 1950s before I was born; I never met him.)

Ethan Kent (in New York City)
ewkent@... .