Getting Around Between Census Years

I’m working on a family between the 1900 and 1930 time frame. While we often rely on the decennial federal census records to give us a scaffold on which to build research plans, it’s worth reminding ourselves that a great deal can happen in the years between one census and the next.

In the case of this family, I suspect that the man and woman who married in 1908 were divorced or separated by the date of the 1910 census. It appears that the wife did marry again but she used her maiden name when doing so. That made locating the marriage all the more difficult. All the creative searching for her under the name of her 1908 marriage would not help.

If you can’t find someone in the next census after the one in which you’ve located them, it’s always possible that they were dead. But it is also possible that there were several life events that took place that changed their name, marital status, etc.

Sometimes people are not dead. They are just dying to be found.

Check out Genealogy Tip of the Day book version for other tips and questions you should ask yourself about your research.