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Posts Tagged ‘census’

So many 1940 census images and so many indexers but according to FamilySearch – not enough arbitrators. I read blog posts and information about arbitration and decided I had indexed quite a bit and remained consistent at 97%-98% accurate so I dipped my toes in the water and requested to be considered as an arbitrator. Apparently, they are really desperate because I received the “right to arbitrate” about 2 hours later!

When I started to arbitrate indexed census images, it looked as if Indiana was on the brink of being “searchable” (that was an erroneous perception it turns out) so I started with that state as I had plenty of collateral relatives there. Didn’t find any as I started arbitrating (I had already indexed a lot of Indiana census images). What I did find made me scratch my head.

Most of the dual indices (each census image is indexed twice – the differences are then arbitrated) – were close enough to each other with minor exceptions – an “o” instead of an “a” or not paying attention that the “S” typed for “Son” turned out to be “sister”. Easy arbitration. Then came what I am calling – the indexers who apparently do not read any instructions. If there is not a dwelling number, instead of viewing the previous page to see what the dwelling number is, the indexer put <blank>. Really? Seriously?  Or how about a place lived five years previous for a child who is only 2? Really? Seriously? I’ve even found a <blank> in place of a surname because generally the census taker did not write down the surname for each member of the family with the same last name. Really? Seriously? That sort of thing leaves me scratching my head.

Of course, I am still indexing records in between doing arbitration. When I do index, I try to be very careful and mindful of how my transcriptions are viewed by the person who will arbitrate what I’ve done.

I believe the biggest reason there are so many “oopsies” is due to indexers not reading directions or making sure the highlight is adjusted to the line that’s being transcribed. That being said, some of the census takers’ penmanship leaves a LOT to be desired!  Spelling errors and such are forgiveable especially when trying to decipher some of those squiggles – such as lots of names crossed out and rewritten above what’s crossed out – looks like a 2nd grader has written everything! 

So to  my fellow indexers and arbitrators – we can only do the best we can and be as conscientious as possible. Quality before quantity – and a prayer that we are reading it right doesn’t hurt!

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After FamilySearch began digitizing records, I signed up to index records. Then, I took the tutorials and reviewed the instructions. But I didn’t start indexing. I was afraid that a “batch” of records would take too long for me to do. At the time, I had too much on my plate in my personal life.

Lately, I’ve been on a mission to reclaim some ” fun” during the work, study, & regular “stuff” of family life. About a week ago, I saw the teased on the site about helping index the 1940 census when it’s released on April 2nd.  And that’s how it started.  . .

First, it was just a couple of batches that I did one afternoon. Those Texas death certificates are pretty easy! Then I started dowloading 2-3 batches at a time. Even tried some marriage & birth records – the intermediate ones! And I was having fun & learning a few things. There have been too many infant deaths I’ve run across – from premature births to ancephaly to illness.

I hope I’m contributing as much as those who indexed records I’ve used. I want to give back because I’ve received so much. And I am very excited about the release of the 1940 census. The sooner its indexed, the better for all of us!

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Georgia Anna Amore is somewhat of a mystery to me.  She was the daughter of George Washington Amore (my g-grandfather’s brother) and Catherine (Katie) Burden.  Born on January 21, 1895 in Plainfield, Coshocton County, Ohio, Georgia was G.W.’s and Katie’s 5th child and 2nd daughter.  One brother was born after her.

Georgia married no less than 4 times (Ottis Kazee, John Albert, LeRoy Bennett, and William Smith) and possibly 5 (Unknown Ostler or Osler). 

mary kazee

Georgia’s first daughter (and only child from her first marriage to Otis Kazee), died at the age of 13 months from pneumonia.  Mary Katherine Kazee’s obituary seems to indicate that Georgia and Otis were not living together any more.

mary kazee obit

It seems odd that the newspaper states that she was 13 months old (it was the Jan. 12, 1915 edition of the Coshocton Tribune) yet lists her birthdate as the month before (Dec. 1914) – even her death certificate states she was born in Dec. 1914.  Georgia was the informant so it would seem logical that she would know how old her daughter was.  Georgia also lists her own birthplace as Ohio.

georgia amore smith 1920

The 1920 Census (above) show Georgia and her second husband, John Albert, living in Tuscarawas Twp, Coshocton County, Ohio.  They had been married almost 5 years and had one daughter, Velma, age 3 years and 9 months.  One son, George Woodrow, born on Oct. 3, 1918 died on Nov. 21, 1918 (a little over a month old) of “improper nutrition”. The other 3 children (Nellie, Grace and John) were from John’s previous marriage to Elva P.  

Gorgia_Amore_1984536_194

In the May 23, 1916, June 17, 1919, and May 16, 1921 editions of the Coshocton Tribune, John had posted this notice: “I will not be responsible for any debts incurred by my wife, Georgia Albert.”  In the March 15, 1917 edition of the same newspaper there were two different postings.  One reads:

Says Hubby Was Extremely Cruel
In the matter of John A. Albert Vs. Georgia Albert asking a divorce, the answer and cross petition of the defendent was held Wednesday in probate court.
In her cross petition the defendent alleges extreme cruelty in that about six months after the birth of their child, “plaintiff came into the room where she was sleeping and while sharpening a butcher knife said he felt like cutting defendent’s d—- head off; and struck her with his fist, and pulled her out of bed.” Other instances of alleged cruelty are also cited.

The next posting reads:

Wants Divorce
Alleging that his wife was guilty of neglect of duty, that she struck him with a rocker and a cream pitcher and stabbed him with a fork so violently that the handle was broken, John A. Albert brot suit in probate court Tuesday against Georgia Albert asking a divorce and temporary injunction restraining her from interfering with his management of the household until the case should be heard. The injunction was allowed. The couple were married Oct. 1, 1915, and one child was born of the marriage. Albert was married previously and has a child by the first marriage. He alleges that his present wife threatened it’s life. George D. Klein represents the plaintiff.

Yet the couple remained married at least until about 1921 and had two more daughters, Betty and Winifred, and a son, Charles.  Velma is not seen again after this census and is believed to have died prior to 1930.

Sometime between 1921 and 1926, after Georgia and John divorced, she married Leroy Bennett.  Their first son, Robert Leroy Bennett, was born on Apr. 24, 1926 in Fayette County, Ohio.  He died four months later on Aug. 10, 1926 of malnutrition.  Leroy listed Georgia’s birthplace as Blaine, Kentucky on the death certificate.

robert bennett death

The next son, Thomas J. Bennett, born Mar. 2, 1928, lived until he was 15 months old.  The cause of death was listed as petroleum poisoning.  This time Leroy listed Georgia’s birthplace as Ohio.

thomas bennett death

The couple had one more known son, Kenneth Bennett, born in 1929 and living to adulthood.

Georgia, age 35, is found on the 1930 Census living on her own in Madison Twp, Greenfield, Madison County, Ohio.  She was enumerated as Head of household, divorced, born in Kentucky (?) and with three children: Charles Albert (son with John Albert) – age 8, born in Ohio; Eileen Ostler (daughter with Unknown Ostler) – age 6, born in Ohio; and Kenneth Bennett, age 8 months, born in Ohio.

georgia amore bennett 1930

Daughter, Betty Albert, age 9, was living with Georgia’s sister, Bertha, and her husband, John Woodward, in Linton Twp, Plainfield Village, Coshocton County, Ohio.  Winifred isn’t found – but she is listed as married and a survivor later in Georgia’s obituary. 

Sometime after the 1930 Census, Georgia married William Smith.  The couple had three known children: James, Paul and Gerald.  William died in 1954 and the couple were still married.  Georgia died on December 23, 1973 at Community Hospital in Springfield, Ohio.  Her obituary ran in the Hillsboro, Ohio Press Gazette the following day.  It reads:

Georgia Anna Smith
Georgia Anna Smith, 78, Greenfield, died at 1:30 p.m. yesterday at Community Hospital, Springfield. She was a member of the Plainfield, O., Baptist Church and a Gold Star Mother.
She was born Jan. 21, 1895, the daughter of George and Catherine Burden Amore, at Plainfield.
She married William Smith, who died in April of 1954.
She is survived by seven children, Mrs. Clarence (Winifred) Summer of Springfield, James W. Smith, serving with the U.S. Army at Ft. Lee, Va., and Mrs. Arthur (Betty) Payne, Mrs. Herman (Eileen) Daugherty, Kenneth Bennett, Paul Smith and Gerald Smith, all of Greenfield; 36 grandchildren, 43 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.
One son, Charles Albert, was killed during World War II, on Oct. 6, 1944. She also was predeceased by six children who died in infancy, two other children, four brothers and a sister.
Services will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Murray Funeral Home, Greenfield. Rev. Noble Miller officiating and burial at Greenfield Cemetery.
Friends may call at the funeral home after 4 p.m. Wednesday.

She delivered a total of 16 children – five of those who died are known (Mary Katherine Kazee, Robert Leroy Bennett,  Thomas J. Bennett; Velma Albert, and George Woodrow Albert.  Her son Charles died in the War.  Only seven survived her upon her death.  There are still three unaccounted children.  Not only does it appear that Georgia lived a life of “drama” and engaged in volatile relationships but she had several children who died.  I wonder if she ever suffered from depression or post-partum depression.  

I have no photos of Georgia nor any information about her descendents – other than from her daughter, Betty (from husband John Albert).  I’d like to find out about all the other children she bore as well as the husbands who divorced her.  So that is the end of Georgia’s story until I can do further research.

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Malissa Goul was born in 1832 in Champaign County, Ohio.  She was the granddaughter of the immigrant, Adam Goul, born in Germany, and his wife, Elizabeth Lutz, born in Pennsylvania.  Malissa’s father, John, was Adam and Elizabeth’s oldest son.  Her mother was Martha McManaway.  And she was my maternal 2nd great-grandmother. 

This woman intrigued me especially when I found out that her oldest son, James Oakland Goul (called “Oaki” or “Okie”) had the same last name as she did.  Was her first husband also a “Goul”?  Was he born after the husband died and she gave him her maiden name?  What was the story?

My mother told me that the family story was that she had him out of wedlock.  Delving into family history, I realized that wasn’t as uncommon as I thought.  I’ve found many couples who were married shortly before a child was born or after a child was born and sometimes not at all. malissa_blazer

The photos I have of Malissa and her son were some of the first “old” pictures I acquired.  Her funeral book was the first memorial record I was given.  So I’ve attempted to learn all I can about this woman who became the mother of my maternal grandfather’s mom (Katie Blazer Johnson).

The biggest question I wanted answered was who was Okie’s father?  I found an entry in the Madison County, Indiana Marriage record transcripts for Okie.  He was married on February 1, 1900 to Eliza Jones.  Okie listed his age at the next birthday as 43 and his father’s name as James M. Goul.  Okay – I had a name.  But who was this man?  Was he a distant relative?  I had much more to research. 

 In the 1850 Census of Union Township, Champaign County, Ohio, I found the John and Martha Goul household.  Included in the household were their children – Eveline, Mary Ann, Malissa, Ruth, William J., John W. – and two boarders – Thomas Dillons, age 28, a laborer born in Ohio and James Goul, age 28, a grocer born in Virginia.

john_goul_1850

Could this James Goul – a grocer – and 10 years older than Malissa have been the father of her oldest son?  I believe he was.  And furthermore, I believe he is also the James Goul who married Hannah Harbert, daughter of Thomas Harbert III and Elizabeth Huston; sister of Josiah Harbert who married Malissa’s oldest sister, Martha Jane Goul.  James had married Hannah before Malissa became pregnant with Okie, and he and Hannah had already had one son, William Andrew.  Soon after Malissa became pregnant, the family moved to Madison County, Indiana, and James and Hannah moved away from Champaign County, Ohio to Missouri.  I don’t believe father and son ever had a parent-child relationship. 

I’ll never know if Malissa pined for James or if it was just an affair of convenience.  She didn’t have her mother to confide in as Martha died in December 1855. 

Further digging has led me to believe that Okie’s father, James, was the grandson of Adam and Elizabeth Goul – the first cousin of Malissa and nephew of her father, John.  In Adam’s will, written December 4, 1843 (2 years before his death), he named his surviving wife (Elizabeth), children (Mary – eldest daughter; John – eldest son; Christian – second son; Henry – son), and grandchildren (Mary, Andrew and James). 

Malissa had her child, Okie, and by 1859 married Franklin Blazer.  The couple went on to have two sons, John Franklin and Wesley, and three daughters, Martha, Katie and Rachel.  Unfortunately, the couple did not have a long and happy marriage.  Franklin died in August 1869 leaving Malissa to raise 6 young children alone.  She never remarried.

Malissa died on March 7, 1907 in Pendleton, Madison County, Indiana.  Her funeral was held at the Clayte Sells Chapel and burial was in Fall Creek Cemetery. 

I hope Malissa rests in peace for she had a very hard life.

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Which is where I’ve been for the last week!  As I was “googling” and searching for some information, I decided that some more “clean-up” of my gedcom was in order.  Or more precisely – better documentation.  Since I was doing research on the Goul (and for all of those not in the know – it rhymes with Owl!) line of my tree, that is where I focused my work. 

I don’t have subscriptions to any of the online “pay” genealogy sites, so thought I’d work with what I could.  I started on HeritageQuest – which I can access from home thanks to my local library.  I wanted to find every single census record I could that included a member of the Goul family in order to “source” it in my family file. 

While doing so, I ran across “extra” Goul folks so added them into the family file as non-related people just in case.  The documentation took quite a bit of time.  Not only did I add the information on where everyone was in the Census records but the Series, Roll and page numbers. 

After I finished with HeritageQuest, I went to FamilySearch labs and entered information I found from there.  Then on to Rootsweb family trees and the Social Security Death Index.  Then I did a Google search to see what “distant” cousins had entered. 

In the middle of all of this, I received an email from a distant cousin – one who had posted some queries awhile back to one of the message boards.  We wrote back and forth and she mentioned that she had some things to mail to me.  I received the package on Saturday and it was a rather large package with quite a few family group sheets, copies of letters she had received from another distant cousin (who has since passed away).  One of the letters was actually a letter written to this other cousin that he had sent to her, and you’ll never believe who the author of that letter was – my grandfather!  Talk about the “circle of genealogy”!  This is the second time a cousin has sent me copies of letters my grandfather had written to other people. 

My week’s worth of work has been very productive and successful. I’ve been able to attach some of those non-related people to my line.

Even though I’ve used every combination of spellings to find the Goul family in the census, I’m not quite done.  I’ve located them under the variations of Coul, Gowl, Gaul, Gowell, and Goule.  But I’m sure there’s more!

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One of the road blocks in locating your ancestor in the Census records occurs when we know where they are living – perhaps even have an address – but for some reason we can’t locate them. Stephen P. Morse web pages can help with many items. This site has links to Ellis Island forms, New York manifests, Castle Garden, other immigration ports, and Census information.

Under Census there are several items:

  1. Obtaining the Enumeration Districts for 1900-1940 Censuses
  2. Street Finder
  3. Enumeration District Definitions
  4. Census Codes
  5. Determining Counties
  6. Changed Street Names
  7. Soundex

These items might assist you in your census research.  Please note that some links send you to fee-based sites.

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Though my posts have been a little sparse in the last month or so, I’ve still done quite a bit of research.  I’m attempting to clean up my family file – gather death and marriage dates and add source documentation to items I’ve found.

Luckily, I am able to access the Census records on Heritage Quest from home through my library’s database.  Between that and the databases on Family Search I’ve been able to gather many more bits of information and sources.

My steps include:

  1. Finding an ancestral family (let’s use my 2nd great-grandfather, Florus Allen House as an example).
  2. I check to see what census records I have for him and make sure all are sourced correctly which includes the date census was taken, series, roll, page, dwelling and family numbers, and all information pertaining to the household.
  3. Then I check surrounding households to see if any relatives are nearby.
  4. If I find that I’m missing a census record, I re-check the databases using wildcards, just the first name, different surname spellings, etc. to see if I can locate the record.
  5. I check to make sure that ages match up for children or if there is an in-law, grandchild or other relative also living in the household.
  6. From there I move on to the children in the household and begin looking for them in census records after they have moved out of the family home.  I use the same type of searches as I did above.

The information this yields has documented marriages, children of the marriage, birth months and years, approximate length of marriage and the number of marriages a person has had. 

For my ancestors living in Ohio, I’ve been able to look at the Ohio Deaths on Family Search and have been able to gather death dates, whether married, cause of death, location of death and usual residence, birth dates, parents’ names, and occupation.  Sometimes the informant has been a family member which helps document that.  All of that information combined with other sources has been able to provide better documentation.

I’ve also discovered while doing my clean up that information I found through other means or from another person, hasn’t been accurate.  For one child of my 2nd great-grandfather, I had found a record (not sourced) that gives a marriage date – 20 years after this person had allegedly died.  I’ve not found any documents to support the death or the marriage – so on the “notes” section of my family file I list what documents support that this person was a child in the family (census records), and where I found the other information but that it is not proven yet.  In other words a big question mark!

I’ve also found similarly named individuals in the census records that I’ve had to check different documents in order to offer proof it is the individual I’m researching or one who belongs to an entirely different family. 

This is a slow process but one that has yielded promising results.  For me it is akin to working a jigsaw puzzle and checking each piece to see where or if it fits at all.  Half the fun is getting there!

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