They didn’t always move in with the nearest relative or their geographically closest relative. An aunt of mine, widowed with no children, could not be found in the 1940 census in the town where she had lived since 1900 and where she died in 1962. Having heard from a living relative that this aunt and her husband apparently lived a hand-to-mouth existence, I figured that she was simply missed in the 1940 enumeration.

She wasn’t. She was living 100 miles away with one of her nieces. She had sisters and brothers who lived much closer and numerous nieces and nephews who lived closer. Individuals who move in with family do not necessarily move in with individuals who are most closely related or who are geographically closest.

Always check your assumptions. I assumed my aunt was missed in 1940 and that she would have lived closer to home. That was not the case.



One response

  1. I keep thinking the headline says “Moved in with Kim?” Yikes! But this happens a lot in FL. People move here from up north and may have lived here for years. But when they get older, they move in with their kids or someone else…and not necessarily in the same area from which they came. It’s a good reminder!

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