Census suggestion for deceased person

Posted September 8, 2006 12:16am

c24m48 writes...

I just received a suggestion to look for the 1900 census entry for a man who died "before 1900". I don't have an explicit death or burial records for the man. I entered a death fact of "before 1900" because I found the 1900 census entry for the family. In that census entry, the man was not enumerated, his wife was the head of household, and his wife was explicitly listed as a widow.

I realize that sometimes in this situation the man might still be living. His wife labeling herself as a "widow" might be a convenient fiction to hide some embarrassment such as that he was in prison or that he had abandoned the family. But nevertheless, I would prefer not to receive this particular recommendation.

It's not a huge big deal. I just marked the suggestion as "NOT FOUND" and went on. But both the best and the worst thing about GenSmarts is how many suggestions there are. I prefer to reduce the number of suggestions when possible.

Jerry Bryan

On 2006-09-08 12:54am GenSmarts replied...

Can you post the "makes sense" paragraph and the "background" paragraph from this suggestion so we can see what assumptions GenSmarts is making? Change the surname of people if you're worried about privacy, just try to change it as little as possible.

We do allow a bit of leeway on vague dates (About, After, Before, only a year specified, etc.) so that probably explains this suggestion...

Usually, though, an unusual suggestion is the result of a mis-match between what is known and what is actually documented in the data being analyzed. For example, you know it wouldn't make sense to check the census because you've already found it and know what it says... but GenSmarts isn't reading your mind, it's going strictly on the data you've recorded, so if that data is old, obsolete, has a typo, etc... that could explain an apparent illogical suggestion. As I said, though, in this case, it seems the odds would favor some leeway around the date.

So a tip on any unusual suggestion is to double check the assumptions in that Explanation paragraph and make sure they're consistent with what you know.

On 2006-09-08 9:24pm c24m48 added...

Researching the Tennessee 1900 Census makes sense because he was found on census in 1880 in Polk County, Tennessee and he died in BEF. 1900 in (GSEST. Polk County, Tennessee).

Some background on Hugh A. Henry [657]: He was born in ABT. 1827 in Tennessee, and he died in BEF. 1900 in (GSEST. Polk County, Tennessee). He married Nancy Elizabeth Jane Newman [651] on 2-APR-1856 in Tennessee, and had the following children: Louisa 46605, T. 46606, Rufus 46613, and David 46614.

(Real data -- I don't think there are any privacy issues in this case. The data base is RootsMagic, in case that makes a difference.)

Jerry Bryan

On 2006-09-08 9:44pm GenSmarts replied...

Thanks. Looks like an issue with how we're treating the before date. I think we can probably tweak something to clean this up... I'll post back what I find.

On 2006-09-10 5:40pm GenSmarts replied...

We did tweak this, so it should be better with version or later when we move to that update (it's not currently posted).

On 2006-09-11 6:02pm Art added...

In my case the widow designation for my great grandmother was a "coverup" as her "deceased" husband was located in the next state West - with new wife about 15 years younger and an infant child. The way I knew of this possibility was my father's story that "grandpa ran away with the young barmaid" otherwise I wouild have not have had any reason to search further

On 2006-09-29 9:51am GenSmarts replied... is now available ( http://www.GenSmarts.com/versionHistory.html )

I'd be curious to know if this latest version cleaned up this suggestion...

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