30 July 2014

As Precise as it Gets

The 1910 census for your relative indicates that she was 60 years of age and was born in Ohio.

You have a date of birth for your ancestor of 5 January 1850 with the location being Jackson Township, Coshocton County, Ohio.

If you connect sources to dates and locations in your genealogy database, should you link the 1910 census to the 5 January 1850 birth in Jackson Township, Coshocton County, Ohio?

There is a difference between being consistent and saying the exact same thing.

The census enumeration is consistent with a 5 January 1850 birth in Jackson Township, Coshocton County, Ohio, but it does not provide evidence of that level of precision. The census only provides evidence of the Ohio portion of the place of birth. The age is only as of 15 April 1910, which means the person was born between 16 April 1849 and 15 April 1850. This is because a person could be aged 50 on 15 April 1910 if:
  • They were turning 51 the next day (making them born on 16 April 1849)
  • They had just turned 50 on the census date (making them born 15 April 1850)
Tie your sources to what they say and avoid indicating they are more precise then they are.

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