Died After 1830?

The last record I have for an ancestor is their enumeration in the 1830 census. Years ago I entered “died after 1830” as their date of death. The more I got to thinking about it, the more I realized that the ancestor died after the 1830 census enumeration was taken in the area where they were believed to have been living.

And they could have died in 1830–just after the enumeration was taken and before the year ended.

Probably the better approach for me to take is to indicate that the last record I have for that ancestor is their 1830 census enumeration. It’s possible that they were overlooked in 1840 or hidden in one of those unnamed tick marks in that enumeration.

One needs to take care when entering any approximate date of an event in a genealogical database and the notes or sources for those approximate dates need to be twofold: the source and the reason. The reason may be obvious and simple to state or it may not. It all depends on the source and what it says.

Exact dates need sources. Inexact dates need sources and reasons.