Transcription errors

I have to apologize – I’ve been writing some mighty long posts lately. I suspect that covering all this ground will probably make people shy away from genealogy, instead of showing them everything that I find fascinating about it. I promise this post will be much shorter!

As I mentioned previously, errors in historical records are pretty common. Census-takers, for example, would spend long days traipsing up and down stairs, visiting home after home to record information, and it’s possible they sometimes wrote their own notes illegibly. The information they received could be provided by anyone who answered the door, there was no need to verify the information they were given, and there were of course occasional language barriers just to make things worse.

Here’s a particular transcription error that amuses me, from the 1930 census:

Can you spot it? Edris and Lillie’s daughter is Catherine, our very own Grandma Kay! I’m not sure how this one happened… ?

There’s one other factual anomaly that has me puzzled. Family stories say that Lillie and Edris married when she was 15, but you’ll note here that they say she was 20 (the final column shown is “Age at First Marriage”). And going further, by these records it looks as if they got married four years after their daughter was born. Until I obtain a marriage certificate for them and/or a birth certificate for Kay, I won’t really be sure what’s true on this record!


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