Ira Sargent is enumerated in the 1850 and 1860 US Census under the last name of his step-father, Asa Landon. Ira was born in the 1840s and his father, Clark Sargent, died around 1848. By 1850 his mother had married Asa Landon.

Ira’s 1870 marriage record is probably the first document where he actually provided his name to the records clerk. Chances are someone else gave his name to the 1850 and 1860 census enumerator.

Your relative might have known his “name,” but might never have had a chance to give it to the clerk, enumerator, etc. until after he was “of age.”

Is that why you can’t find your person in any record until they get married?



3 Responses

  1. Since in 1840 most families were church going people I personally would research to find what church was attended by the person whose name you want to confirm and then I would start looking for a Baptismal Record (which in some cases shows the Birth Record also). This record would also confirm the parents and perhaps in many cases additional family members. Many times the mothers sisters or brothers show as the sponsors and will confirm the mothers maiden name. Although Census records can be used as a record in Genealogy I personally do not consider them accurate (I have found over the years many errors) and I always want additional information from a more accurate source even though it takes considerable more time and work. I also do no consider Transcriptions as a record because people have tendency to make typing errors or to correct to something else they consider correct. An original record or document should never be changed (a footnote could be added). One must Remember with the Census many times a child could of supplied the information or a neighbor, boarder or someone who did not know the family that well. My Motto has always been “Good Genealogy is not Fast and Fast Genealogy is not Good” and since I specialize in Lineage work I find that still holds true.

  2. BIngo! I had the exact same problem finding a gg-grandmother in Alabama. I finally figured out her mother & stepfather, but for the life of me I cannot figure out her bio-father. She carries the last name of mother’s first husband who died more than 2 years before she was born & mother didn’t marry stepfather until the daughter was two. If stepfather IS the bio-father, why wouldn’t she carry his last name? He & the mother remained married until his death & he even signed my gg-grandmother’s marriage license. BTW, her birth falls about 2 years after the Civil War ended & in the widow’s pension application for first husband, mother has to bring in numerous witnesses to vouch for her marriage & for the births of her older children because so many records were burned/destroyed in the war. Any thoughts or suggestions on where to go next?

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