Census Sunday – Found ‘Em (Or Not???)

A few days ago, I posted two census images, hoping to use the power of “crowd-sourcing” to untangle a riddle. Alas, no one commented. I even posted my dilemma on the Facebook page of the Random Acts of Genealogy Kindness (RAOGK) group. Usually, I get at least 2-3 good ideas from the RAOGK folks. This time – nada. Ah well….maybe in time. That’s the beauty of the Internet. Once you post it, it’s there forever!!

Anyway, since I posted the original images of the Kenney family in Albany, it has been bothering that I never could find them in the 1860 US Census. It makes no sense that a family would be enumerated in both the 1855 and 1865 NY Censuses, but not  be counted in 1860. Maybe if there were only a couple people, I could understand it – they might be easily missed. But a family of ten??

The most likely reason could be a transcription error. I’ve seen some pretty crazy ones. My favorite so far is that of my mother. I couldn’t find her in the 1940 census and I knew she was there! She was there alright – instead of Doris, her first name was transcribed as Dong. Really?

So, with that thought in mind, I decided to browse the 1860 US census for the Kenneys. They lived in the 8th Ward in both the 1855 and 1865 NY censuses, so I figured I’d start there. Hmmmm… 202 images to go through. When I got to image 75 and still found nothing, I started to doubt my plan. Then I thought of all the genealogists who had to do research the “old-fashioned” way – microfilm and a hand-crank. If they managed to stick with it, I certainly could. Image 90 – still nothing…..Then – Eureka! I hit paydirt on image 101. Not too bad!!

I started to compare the information. Parents’ names and ages matched up. Good. The first four children matched up to ages and the span between them. The 5th child, Catherine was no longer listed in 1860. That would be correct as she married by then. But – what? The 6th child listed in 1855 – Frances – female – age13 was now listed as being 18 – that would be right. BUT her name is spelled Francis and she’s listed as being male! I’d chalk that up to a mistake, but there is also an occupation listed – plasterer’s apprentice. Now, I can’t be 100% certain, but I’m fairly sure a woman would not be working as a plasterer’s apprentice in 1860.

This family is making me crazy! I’m putting this out there a second time – anyone care to comment on whether or not these three censuses reflect the same family?

 New York, State Census, 1855 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.

1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. 

New York, State Census, 1865 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.

2 thoughts on “Census Sunday – Found ‘Em (Or Not???)

  1. Yes, I believe they are the same family. It would help if you could locate the whereabouts of the children who are not enumerated with the family in the subsequent census. It would help explain their absence and solidify the idea that these show the same family.


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