A relative retired from farming in the 1910s when his one son took over the operation of the farm and moved approximately twenty miles away.

Five years later, the son was unable to manage the significant debt he had taken on. The father returned to the farm, paid the son’s debts, and the son left the farm to take a factory job in another town.

Because the time period was fairly short and no census years were involved, it was some time before I discovered this relative’s short-lived foray into retirement.

Did your ancestor move away for a short time only to return later? It could explain that short-term absence. That relative you think lived their entire life in Minnesota may have spent a few years in Texas after retirement only to return later to Minnesota.



One response

  1. My father retired early after being badly burned in an accident at an oil refinery in Oklahoma where he worked. As he recovered, he took on part time work like driving a school bus, but he was bored. About a year later, a small refinery in Indiana needed a superintendent & asked him to come interview. He accepted the job without even consulting my mother! They moved away from where they had been born & had lived all their lives & lived in Indiana for 4 happy years before returning to their home in Oklahoma. Of course my sister & her children know about this, but I’m not sure that future genealogists will know why they appear in a strange place in the 1980 census. Your story & mine shows why it is important to have stories as well as statistics when “going genealogy.”

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