Census takers didn’t always spell names correctly. If it was an unusual name or a foreign one spoken by foreign people, the census taker may have spelled the name phonetically, or misheard it and spelled it completely differently from anything it was supposed to be. You may think your ancestor is not in the census, but this is because you haven’t checked using all the search methods that can lead you to them.
This method works best on online census records that are searchable with an interactive index, such as on Ancestry and FamilySearch. Try the following search methods to discover your ancestor:
• Search by the first name only, with an age range, gender, and location
• Search by the last name only, with an age range, gender, and location
• Search only by age range, gender, and location, with no name
• Search by age range, gender, location, and place of birth, with no name
Using any of these methods may lead you to the ancestor you seek. You’ll know the person when you see them, even if their name is spelled completely incorrectly. They’ll be even more obvious if they are living with recognizable family members you already know. Remember, not everyone made it into every census, so your ancestor may legitimately not be there. But using these techniques will weed them out if they were recorded.
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Originally posted 2019-03-10 17:12:09.