Perplexing Mystery #usa #records


amitch1066@...
 

Hi Everyone,

Hoping someone can help solve a small mystery that might chip away at a brick wall.

I found census records for my great-grandfather and his family, years 1910, 1930, and 1940.  Both Ancestry and FamilySearch kept generating a strange 1920 census that listed a very similar family, with the exception of 2 of the children.  I ignored this for some time, but began to suspect it was the same family.

On the 1920 census, the name of the father, my great-grandfather, is correct.  His wife's name, my great-grandmother, is slightly incorrect but still plausible.  (Maybe a misspelling or mistranslation.)  Two of the children's names are mostly correct.  But the 3rd child listed is a mystery name I don't recognize.  And the oldest child is listed as a daughter, when he should be a son.

All other data (birth years, immigration years, etc) are correct.  

Would the census taker have made such glaring mistakes?  Or are these too many mistakes for me to assume this is my great-grandfather and his family? 

I can provide the census if anyone would like to see it.  Thanks in advance!!
--
Amy Mitchell


sharon yampell
 

Sometimes a neighbor gives the information if the family is not there…if the daughter had short hair, she could have been mistaken for a little boy; remember the time period…

 

Sharon F. Yampell

Voorhees, New Jersey

 

From: amitch1066@...
Sent: Saturday, June 19, 2021 5:40 PM
To: main@...
Subject: [JewishGen.org] Perplexing Mystery #records #usa

 

Hi Everyone,

Hoping someone can help solve a small mystery that might chip away at a brick wall.

I found census records for my great-grandfather and his family, years 1910, 1930, and 1940.  Both Ancestry and FamilySearch kept generating a strange 1920 census that listed a very similar family, with the exception of 2 of the children.  I ignored this for some time, but began to suspect it was the same family.

On the 1920 census, the name of the father, my great-grandfather, is correct.  His wife's name, my great-grandmother, is slightly incorrect but still plausible.  (Maybe a misspelling or mistranslation.)  Two of the children's names are mostly correct.  But the 3rd child listed is a mystery name I don't recognize.  And the oldest child is listed as a daughter, when he should be a son.

All other data (birth years, immigration years, etc) are correct.  

Would the census taker have made such glaring mistakes?  Or are these too many mistakes for me to assume this is my great-grandfather and his family? 

I can provide the census if anyone would like to see it.  Thanks in advance!!
--
Amy Mitchell

 


Friedman, H George
 

I have definitely found census records in which a child's gender was wrong. It happened.

As for the mystery name, it might have been a cousin or even a neighbor staying temporarily with the family.

George Friedman
Champaign, IL, USA

________________________________________

From: main@... <main@...> on behalf of amitch1066@... <amitch1066@...>
Sent: Saturday, June 19, 2021 4:38 PM
To: main@...
Subject: [JewishGen.org] Perplexing Mystery #records #usa

Hi Everyone,

Hoping someone can help solve a small mystery that might chip away at a brick wall.

I found census records for my great-grandfather and his family, years 1910, 1930, and 1940. Both Ancestry and FamilySearch kept generating a strange 1920 census that listed a very similar family, with the exception of 2 of the children. I ignored this for some time, but began to suspect it was the same family.

On the 1920 census, the name of the father, my great-grandfather, is correct. His wife's name, my great-grandmother, is slightly incorrect but still plausible. (Maybe a misspelling or mistranslation.) Two of the children's names are mostly correct. But the 3rd child listed is a mystery name I don't recognize. And the oldest child is listed as a daughter, when he should be a son.

All other data (birth years, immigration years, etc) are correct.

Would the census taker have made such glaring mistakes? Or are these too many mistakes for me to assume this is my great-grandfather and his family?

I can provide the census if anyone would like to see it. Thanks in advance!!
--
Amy Mitchell


Ina Getzoff
 

Amy:
I fully agree with Sharon. Many times it depended on who provided the information and if it came from a neighbor who really did not know the family well she might have said something like "I think" and the census taker took it to be totally accurate. 
The other issue might have been "language" . If the neighbor did not speak English well the census taker might have had a problem understanding what was said and rather than asking again just wrote what he thought he heard. Does the information on the third child might be what you otherwise know to probably be fact?
Good luck
Ina Getzoff
Delray Beach, Florida


Paul Chirlin
 

I agree with the comments posted so far. I have many entries with the gender wrong. A Sylvan becomes a Sylvia etc.  But I'd add that the mystery third child may be real depending on age which you didn't provide. A child born after the 1910 census would first appear on the 1920 and may have died or left the home before the 1930 census. 
Paul Chirlin


jbonline1111@...
 

In addition to the excellent suggestions already mentioned, don't discount the possibility that a sickly child had his or her name changed to fool the Angel of Death.  My father, born in 1917, was named Louis, but by the 1920 census he is listed as Lawrence. Ditto his elder brother, born in 1907 and named Barnett, but later listed as Benjamin.  Another possibility is that a Jewish/Hebrew name is later used as a given name.  That may be the explanation for my uncle.
--
Barbara Sloan
Conway, SC


Michaele Burris
 

I have a family in which a son was named Amandar, after his grandfather.  One census record lists the child as female, Amanda, but other census records list the boy correctly..  Census takers are human, and where there is human activity, there will be human error.
 
Michaele Burris


Michele Lock
 

For the years near 1920, have you checked city directories, to find the address of the family in those years (say, 1917 to 1923)? You can check to see if the address in the 1920 census is the same, or at least nearby.

Also, is the occupation of the great grandfather in the 1920 census what you would expect, based on other records that you have for him?

I've seen names and genders and occasionally ages for children mixed up. A son named Barney was mis-heard by the census-taker as 'Bonnie' and so is listed as a girl. I've also seen a child left out entirely, even though I know they were very much alive.

As for the mystery third child - it could be a child that died young, that you don't know about, though perhaps you can look for a birth or death certificate or other record for that name It may also be a relative's child that was living temporarily with the family. My mother was routinely sent to spend entire summers with her aunt in the 1930s, and I can see how she might have ended up listed as part of the aunt's family.
--
Michele Lock

Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock and Kalon/Kolon in Zagare/Joniskis/Gruzdziai, Lithuania
Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock in Plunge/Telsiai in Lithuania
Trisinsky/Trushinsky/Sturisky and Leybman in Dotnuva, Lithuania
Olitsky in Alytus, Suwalki, Poland/Lithuania
Gutman/Goodman in Czestochowa, Poland
Lavine/Lev/Lew in Trenton, New Jersey and Lida/Vilna gub., Belarus


amitch1066@...
 

Thanks George! So strange that genders would be complete wrong.  The third child being a neighbor or different relative is an interesting suggestion as well.
--
Amy Mitchell


Odeda Zlotnick
 

In addition to all of the above, it may be worth checking the census date, and comparing the Gregorian to the Jewish.

I have a family member - a child - appearing in the 1930 census twice.  Once at grandma and grandpa's -- on the 2nd day of Pessach,  i.e. the day after the second Seder.   The families lived within a 37 minute walking distance (according to google maps).  Two weeks later ,the same boy was at his parents home when the census takers came.

And yes there are also mistaken genders.
--
Odeda Zlotnick
Jerusalem, Israel.


srg100@...
 

I'm still trying to work out how and why the whole family, wife and children, were included in my husband's great-grandfather's census entries in 1895 and 1910 in Connecticut.
The great-grandfather was definitely there in 1910, and could well have been there in 1895, but none of the rest of the family remembered being there. And there are no records of their arrival.
In fact his wife is quoted as saying that she'd never go to the US as she'd travelled enough from Europe to Ireland to Manchester, England and to Glasgow, Scotland!
Anyone have any ideas? 
Thanks!

--
Shoshanah Glickman
Gateshead, UK


Eva Lawrence
 

A reason why Shoshana Glickman's husband's family, Living in England,
was listed on his great-grandfather's American census forms could have
been that the great-grandfather, with poor language skills, quite
misunderstood the census question. He may have thought that he was
required to give details of his family, rather than of the inhabitants
of his house and given the names himself.
Eva Lawrence
St Albans, UK.
--
Eva Lawrence
St Albans, UK.


srg100@...
 

Now that's a reason I didn't think of before!
I'm not sure how good his English was but I know he was working as an optometrist 
in America before he died there.
Thanks so much for replying.

-- 
Shoshanah Glickman
Gateshead, UK


On Mon, Jun 21, 2021 at 05:24 PM, Eva Lawrence wrote:
could have been that the great-grandfather, with poor language skills, quite
misunderstood the census question. 
Eva Lawrence
St Albans, UK.
--


Dahn Cukier
 

My name was spelled Dan in the US, but every teacher changed it first to Daniel and then
when I said how to pronounce the Hebrew name which is what I have
always used, they would change it to Donald.

Dahn Zukrowicz