03 November 2011

Worst Census Entry Ever?

As far as my personal research goes, it might very well be.  It's got to be the most confusing.

You can enlarge those by clicking on them, if you so choose (sorry about the watermark, I forgot to remove it before uploading; I certainly claim no copyright). Or, if you find yourself interested enough to view the entire page, the cropped images are from the Hubbard, Hill County, Texas 1920 U.S. Federal Census -- ED #54, Sheet 11B.

I'm not sure I can even explain how messed up this appears to me. First, ignore the top name. I'm confident she belongs with family 156. The census taker's notation regarding Cullen McLain takes you to the household of J. B. McLain, so I'm guessing that is to whom Cullen is a son. Ignore him, too.

You are still left with Drucilla Freeland, listed as a female head of household for family 157. Her "wife" is Austin Freeland. Supposedly, Mary Shepard is Drucilla's sister and Bobbie Whitaker is her grandson. Following them are two nephews and a niece, again supposedly of Drucilla.

The only person listed with a job is Cullen (farm laborer), and I'm thinking he's getting paid by this family instead of bringing money into it. I hope there's a lot of "own income" floating around somewhere!

My interest is with Mary Shepard. She is my third cousin, daughter of James Matson and Mary Lincecum. I can find absolutely no connection between Mary Shepard and Drucilla Freeland (or Austin Freeland, or any of the Kinchloe family). I would likely toss this entry out altogether if it weren't for Bobbie Whitaker. I believe a grandson of (my) Mary Shepard to be Robert Shepard Whiteaker, son of Hester Shepard Whiteaker. So the connection between Mary and Bobbie rings true to me. Other factors of location and marital status give more credence to this being my Mary Shepard. Should I just chalk all those seemingly incorrect relationships up to bad information provided to the census taker? I transcribed the information and saved a copy of the image. It's definitely going on hold for now. Trying to make sense of it hurts my head. :-)

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