Years ago, I discovered a lengthy article in a genealogical publication about an ancestor and his family. It was full of complete references to a variety of records: land, court, census, probate, etc. The citations were complete and made it easy to locate the original for comparison purposes. The author indicated that the ancestor could not be found in the 1830 census. The other enumerations were included and discussed. The thorough nature of the research initially caused me not to try and find the ancestor in 1830, but I went ahead and tried anyway.
There he was–name spelled correctly and found where he was supposed to be with a household structure that was just a little “off.”
I’m not certain if the author simply overlooked the entry or didn’t want to address the unexpected individuals in the enumeration.
But never assume a published account is complete. Anyone can overlook something, particularly if that item is unindexed and unpublished.
The author’s failure to even address the census entry (since it was easy to find), makes me wonder what else got overlooked–either intentionally or inadvertantly.