Casefile Clues

12 September 2012

Why We Transcribe Exactly

This is part of the 1910 census enumeration for Focke and Anna Goldenstein in Camp Point Township, Adams County, Illinois.

The 15-year old child in the household makes an excellent point as to why we transcribe things exactly and don't "correct" anything. It certainly looks like this reference is to a fifteen year old female daughter named William M.

Turns out the reference is to "Wilhelmina."  Did that sound like "William M" to the census taker? I'm not certain. I doubt if the enumerator looked each child over before writing down their information on the form.

Son Eham is actually Ehme.
Daughter Altej is actually Altje.

Always write down exactly what a record says as best you can. It might be a while before you know what pieces of the record are correct and what pieces are incorrect.