Member of the National Genealogical Society 2018
Member of the New Mexico Genealogical Society 2018

I Can Find Them In Every Other Census; Why Can't I Find Them in 1880?

Naturally, 1880 was a hypothetical situation. But we all have them - families that we can find down through the ages, and then one year, they disappear.

This can be attributed to several things. One, they moved. They left one place before the Census Taker showed up, and arrived at their new home after the Census Taker had been there. Of course, that knocks 10 years out of the research.

Or, the Census Taker got lazy. Yes, it appeared that the longer a Census Taker was on the beat, the more apt some just got lazy. Now, we have nothing but initials, and not always the right ones.

So, if you have a relative named something like Isaac John Anderson, try searching I J Anderson and see what happens. 

Another approach to finding your grandparents (If you can't find them under their names) is search their childrens' names. And choose the child with the least popular name.

You may discover that in this census, the grandparents went by their middle or pet names. Instead of Isaac and Catherine, they are now John and Martha. Isn't that fun? However, by lining up the children's names and approximate ages, you'll know you've found the family. 

The odds of finding people with the exact same children, with the same names, born in the same years, is pretty rare.

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