* Child wrongly identified in census

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amateur
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Child wrongly identified in census

Post by amateur » 25 Mar 2017 12:04

How do I deal with the fact that in the 1841 census there is a child of my great great grandfather listed asa a girl (Frances) aged 2 when I know from family records that it was in fact a boy (Francis)? Do I save the census entry as is using ancestral sources or if not what?

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tatewise
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Re: Child wrongly identified in census

Post by tatewise » 25 Mar 2017 12:17

I have moved this to the Ancestral Sources Forum that is more appropriate than User Group that is for "Suggestions and requests for help on using this site."

I would advise that you enter the Census image and transcript as it is. Many historical documents are full of mistakes, and it is up to us as genealogists to interpret them as best we can. Just add a Note to explain why you believe it contains a mistake.

However, is the 'mistake' in an online transcript, or in the actual Census image?
If the error is only in the transcript, then the transcriber has simply misread the image, without your family history knowledge.
Most online services offer a way of reporting transcription errors, and when supported by sufficient evidence, will eventually get corrected, but you sometimes have to be persistent.
Alternatively, it may simply be that the Census Enumerator misheard the name of the child, and wrote it down incorrectly, or just did not know how to spell Francis as opposed to Frances, or their handwriting is poor, and maybe did not check the sex of the child. Without seeing the image it is difficult to judge which of the above are plausible.

In these circumstances, you would be justified in recording a modified transcript via AS.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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NickWalker
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Re: Child wrongly identified in census

Post by NickWalker » 25 Mar 2017 20:45

Although a mistake seems most likely, might it be possible that this Frances (female) died shortly after the census and a new baby boy was born soon afterwards and named Francis? There would only be a couple of years difference in age. It might be worth looking at the indexes for BMD to see if this is possible.
Nick Walker
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http://www.ancestralsources.com

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DavidNewton
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Re: Child wrongly identified in census

Post by DavidNewton » 25 Mar 2017 23:34

It is also worth remembering that in the 1841 census relationships to the first named person in the household are not given and hence even identifying Frances as a child of your great great grandfather is an assumption and may be false. I agree with Mike that the source should be entered as is and I also think that in addition a new unrelated individual named Frances should be created with an association to the Francis that you think it is. Merging records is fairly easy if you find further evidence that Francis and Frances are the same.

David

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Re: Child wrongly identified in census

Post by amateur » 03 Apr 2017 14:31

Thanks so much for your helpful suggestions. I am looking at the original image. There is definitely something a little odd about the whole thing as there is another child called Joseph whose age is given under the female column, and the mystery child is listed after Joseph although he is 2 and Joseph is 1. We know all about Francis, and since the family were Catholics and all the babies were baptised as infants it seems unlikely that there would have been a girl born and died and NOT baptised;

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