In my last blog, I wrote about finding a divorce mentioned in a census reading on my great-uncle. I sent for marriage records to see if he had been married before, and nope, his marriage to Helen was his first. So was the census reading wrong? Nope, but guess what...it was not him in the census that I read. It was another Fred with the same last name and same age, living in the same town.
I share this to remind all that 1) always check all sources, and 2) don't always trust census readings!
This week I have been doing some genealogy for a friend of my parents and so far have found 4 birth date sources:
Civil War records: b. 1840
1880 census: b. 1842
1900 census: b. June 1849
IGI record: b. 1842
That's quite a difference between 1840 to 1849. Right now I am going to go with the 1842 as date of birth. Though not impossible, he probably wasn't only 13 years old when he enlisted in the Civil War. I am hoping to find a death certificate that might have a more accurate date of birth, although that is a secondary source. He came from Sweden with an incredibly common name, so I don't know that I will get as far as trying for birth records!