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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Census Records Hold Many Clues!

Over on the Olive Tree Genealogy Page on Facebook, Marilyn

asked about a challenge she has in her genealogy.
what do you do when all you have is first name and married last name.first name in 1880 census as on marriage licence in1866 my ggreatgrandmother was velinda/velinder (do not know maiden name ) married jacob b brown 1866.they are on 1880 census.with son charles andrew brown and emma .i lived next door to emma until she passed in 1954.came acro...ss a berry family tre with the names and dates correct.but 2 other children mary a and scoto born i 1860s.i am thinking she was married previous or my ggreatgrandfather was a father at 13.do not have a death or anything on her or first 2 children.the main names in the tree were jagodzinski poland and ill.had our dates of birth as jacob ohio/the rest indiana.
Hi Marilyn,

It doesn't sound like you have seen this family in any census other than 1880. The 1900 and 1910 give the number of children a woman has had and how many are living. This will help you figure out how many children your Verlinda had.

I noted that in both 1900 and 1910 she is listed as Malinda, so be sure to check for her under this name too. In 1900 she says she had 6 children with 5 living; in 1910 she says 7 children with 6 living. A little discrepancy you will have to try to resolve

If you search 1870 census you will find the children you spotted on that Berry Family Tree. Plus another child (10 year old Mary), no telling if it is hers, Jacobs (unlikely) or a niece or other relative!

By 1900 they have 3 more children listed.

So all in all 7 children if you don't count Mary, the 10 year old living with them in 1870

I would hunt for the marriage records of all those 7 children. Almost certainly their mother's maiden name will be given. Also hunt for their deaths and see what information is available there.

I'm going to go out on a limb though and suggest that this person may be your Verlinda - she is indexed on Ancestry.com as Malinda Anderson and is a 19 year old in the 1860 census for Hamilton, Jackson, Indiana. She has a 3 month old daughter named Mary Ann Anderson. A look at the image shows her first name to be Verlinda at least that is how I read it.

The little girl is the right age to be the 10 year old Mary A. "Brown" found living with Malinda/Verlinda and her husband Jacob Brown in 1870. We know Mary A. is not Jacob's daughter as he was 13 when she was born. Malinda is with Paul Anderson age 21.

It's a working theory, and that is how I approach challenges. Develop a theory, and then work to prove or disprove it. Try to find Paul and Malinda/Verlinda Anderson in 1870. If you find them, you've proven the theory wrong.

Keep going and keep gathering records, as many as you can, until you have sorted out all the players (ancestors and others not related)

I'll leave you to have some fun now!

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