Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Double Enumeration on the Census?

What can you do with a double enumeration? The first thing you need to do is determine if it is actually a double enumeration. Double enumerations are rare, but they do happen. Actually I’ve come across several. What are some of the reasons a family may be enumerated more than once? First thing you look at is the date the enumeration took place. The family could have been enumerated in the two places during the time that they moved from one place to another. I’ve seen where it seems that the enumerator might have made a trip around an area and he might have even crossed over a path that he took the enumeration before. Then there is the instance where the family has a lot of other family in the area and they gave the information to the enumerator even though the family lived in another location. So they were enumerated in their home town and also in their new location even though they may not have moved for some time.

Let’s look at my Reeves family. This is the first enumeration of the Abel Reeves family. They were enumerated on August 11, 1870 by W. B. Creekmore.
1870 Whitley County, Kentucky – Louden Precinct, Meadow Creek, page 2.
Abel Reeves age 35
Martha J. age 30
Anderson age 7
C. C. age 4
G. W. age 2

The second enumeration was done on August 15, 1870 by W. B. Creekmore.
1870 Whitley County, Kentucky – Louden Precinct, Meadow Creek, page 14.
Abel Reeves age 34
Jane age 34
Doctor age 7
Richard age 3
George age 1

Both families were counted by the same man only on different days. How do you know that they aren’t two different families? They had the same amount of people in their family and the ages were very close. The only difference seems to be some of their names. Studying the area of Whitley County one can see that the Reeves family is not a plentiful family line here, and the name Abel is very unusual. Martha J. could be the Jane in the second count. The infant G. W. could be George in the second count and more than likely is George Washington, a very popular name in those days.

Studying the family’s neighbors more closely also gives some clues. In the first enumeration their neighbors are a John Reeves age 35, probably a brother. On down the page is a G. W. Reeves age 60, possibly their father. In the second enumeration the neighbors are different, but there is a clue here as well. Knowing the Abel Reeves family history his wife’s maiden name was found to be Hill from their marriage record. The neighbors on this page shows two other families, one is a John Hill age 64 which is more than likely Martha Jane’s father. The other is a William Hill age 44 possibly a brother. So comparing all this information it appears that the information given on one of the Abel Reeves families was by someone outside their immediate family. There is also the possibility that they might have moved in this short time span of four days, or were in the process of moving.

We can study the family further. Finding the correct names for the children it is found that the Reeves family liked to name their children after famous historical figures or important community members. The children’s’ names were: Anderson Barton Reeves, Christopher Columbus Reeves, and George Washington Reeves. The later children were John S. Reeves, William M. Reeves, and Doctor S. Calvin Reeves. I’m currently trying to find out who the later children were named after. The last child’s name was actually Doctor, it wasn’t a title. He could have been named after a family doctor that might have delivered the Reeves children. Can you think of other reasons a family might have been counted twice?

Anderson B. Reeves

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