©2009-2016 Becky Higgins

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

1940 Census Error Found Already

I've spent just a little time finding "my people" on the 1940 census over the past few days. Since I'm indexing as well and feel more of my energy should be put on that task, I've only allowed a few minutes a day to look for myself. And, since I did my homework before the release and gathered the all important ED numbers, I was ready.

My Indiana relatives were easiest to find as they are mostly rural and tended to stay put over long periods. I found my direct line and a few collaterals were spotted along the way.

Today, when I saw that MyHeritage.com had posted Illinois, I made the effort to find my husband's Chicago family. To my surprise, I found his grandmother listed with her four married sons but no daughters-in-law. Hmm, did they all have fights and run home to Mommy? I doubted that
Since I had a address for where hubby's Dad should have been and since I was still looking for my mother-in-law, I went to that ED and guess what I found. There they were, both of them, living happily in their own apartment.

Now, in my opinion, the odds are I'll find the other boys living with their wives too. How this error occurred, I don't know. Maybe grandma didn't understand a question about her children - yes, she was the informant-, maybe the census taker didn't ask the questions properly, however it happened my husband's father and, most likely his three brothers, are listed twice in the census.


  1. Becky, this is an interesting anomaly isn't it? Care to share the image tonight in the 1940 census webinar?

  2. I found my grandfather and his siblings listed both in the orphanage they were living in and with their father. Wish I could figure out the being in two places at once thing:-)

  3. Hmmm...bet you were in Rush Co. Indiana just like I was yesterday. Aren't those rural towns great?

  4. Lisa, yes, I was in Rush Co., I've got people in almost all the townships in and around Rushville, Carthage, and Mays.
    How about you?

    Amanda - I had a similar situation in an earlier census. I thought perhaps, either the child was "visiting" at home or, in this case, the mother just listed him because that's where he should be. The institution is going to work from their records and if someone is just out for a short visit it might not be recognized.

    Pat, I'd love to share tonight but, unfortunately, I'm unable to attend. Would you like me to shoot you the images for you to use?

  5. ...or it could just be the informant didn't understand the part about 'on this date where were they living?' If they were visiting the informant might not understand that it is where they are physically on that date.

  6. My dad was listed with a wrong surname - his step-father's! And lots of other incorrect stuff. See Error in 1940 Census - No Charles Pyle.