Casefile Clues

30 January 2011

Where I Should Focus For My Missing Census People

Everyone has people they cannot find in various census records. I have them as well.

  • Ira Sargent (or William Ira Sargent) in 1870. This Canada native cannot be found in the 1870 census. He should be in the United States. Based upon what I know about him he should be in Iowa, Missouri, or Illinois. At this point in time, I have his names and documentable information on his parents, siblings, wife, and children. I know where he was in 1850, 1860, 1880, 1900, and 1910. While I'd like to find his 1870 census enumeration, it probably isn't going to tell me too much. At this stage, I'm not certain how much more time I should spend on it. I wrote an entire Casefile Clues article about how my search was formulated, and that was educational for me and hopefully for my readers as well. But I just don't think after using those search techniques it is worth any additional time.
  • John Ufkes in 1870. This German can't be located in 1870 either. It is the first census for him in the United States since he immigrated in the 1860s. John is fairly well documented--I know where and when he was born, who his parents were, when and where he immigrated, married, who his children were, etc. While it would be neat to locate him, I'm not certain additional time is warranted at this juncture. While any document could always tell me something I do not know there is only so much time in the day. I also wrote about the search for John in 1870 as he only has potentially three first and four last names. Conducting the search efficiently was a challenge and it made for an interesting article for Casefile Clues (and actually an entire lecture) on census searching.
  • Peter Bieger in 1850. Peter cannot be located in 1850, despite organized searches. He likely is in either Hamilton County, Ohio, or Hancock County, Illinois--and possibly any point in between. I'm still searching for him. What makes him different? In 1850, Peter has only been in the United States between 5 and 10 years, and his likely Germanic origins are unknown. His enumeration in 1850 may shed light on his origins or at least what he was doing before he purchased a general store/tavern in Illinois in 1852. Peter died in 1855, complicating the search. Because little is known about Peter, his 1850 census record has the potential to be more enlightening than the other two listed here. The next issue of Casefile Clues will discuss how the search for Peter was organized, how results were organized, and how search locations were determined.

In upcoming posts, we'll discuss others I cannot locate and how they fit into my research priorities.

I also think it is important to let people know that all of us have missing people somewhere.