How to deduce if a document is accurate; Joseph Kroll, Iowa, 1915

+3 votes

I have located a document from Iowa's 1915 census which documents a Joseph Kroll, 8 years old, who was born in Wisconsin:

My family has always said that my paternal grandfather, Joseph L. Kroll was born in Wisconsin and was sent down the river to his grandparents in Iowa when he was very young. It has been quite difficult to find any documentation for him.

I'm new to the genealogy world and am trying to learn how we deduce logical connections. Given my family's oral history and this being the only document I have found of similar name and time frame, is it a logical and confident choice to attach this document to my ancestor?

WikiTree profile: Joseph Kroll
in Genealogy Help by Melissa Weissenberger G2G Crew (550 points)
edited by Melissa Weissenberger
Do the details on the card match what you know about your ancestor?  We can’t see those details, but do they agree with later census records?
They do--the card lists a Joseph Kroll, age 8, living in Iowa at the same time my grandfather of the same name would have been approximately that age and in that region.

My issue is that I cannot find any other documentation of him until he's well into his 40s. I can't locate a birth certificate or any other census records aside from this 1915 Iowa census. When I search for his name, that time period, and any documents in Iowa this is the only one that shows up, so I don't know if that's confirmation or if I'm too quick to accept a source.
I think the Joseph who was in Iowa in 1915 was living with two sisters, Ruth and Frances, and their grandparents, Elizabeth and J.W. Jones (they have the census cards immediately before the Kroll children).  In 1920 Ruth and Frances are in an orphanage in Davenport, but no Joseph.

6 Answers

+3 votes
Best answer
Parents and grandparents, the grandparents seem to match those in the census.

Source: "Iowa, Old Age Tax Assistance Records, 1934-1958," database, FamilySearch ( : 7 November 2019), Joseph Leroy Kroll, ; citing Pension, Iowa, United States, multiple county Recorders, Auditors, and County Clerk Offices, Iowa; FHL microfilm 007897314.

Iowa, Old Age Tax Assistance Records
: Pension Iowa, United States
: Joseph Leroy Kroll
: Birth date  12 Feb 1908  Iowa
: Father Thomas Kroll
: Mother Anna Jones

Source: "United States Social Security Death Index," database, FamilySearch ( : 15 July 2020), Joseph Kroll, Nov 1969; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).

United States Social Security Death Index
: Joseph Kroll
:  Death Nov 1969
: Age 61  Birth 12 Feb 1908

Source: "Wisconsin Marriages, 1836-1930", database, FamilySearch ( : 30 January 2020), Thomas Kroll, 1906.

Wisconsin Marriages, 1836-1930
: Thomas Kroll
: White Male Birth Wisc
: Father Thomas Kroll Mother Clara Jones
: Marriage 25 Jul 1906 Sparta, Monroe, Wisconsin
: Spouse Anne E. Jones
: White Female Birth Indiana
: Father Uriah Jones Mother Elizabeth Jacques
by Chris Hoyt G2G6 Pilot (897k points)
selected by Melissa Weissenberger
+4 votes
Melissa, I don't see the image in your post, you might have missed the link.  The Mississippi River flows from Wisconsin to Iowa and it was a regular means of travel - it is a very good lead and I would concentrate your search in WI.
by SJ Baty G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)

Thanks! I've edited the post, so hopefully the image is showing up now. Here it is, just in case:

I'm not finding any other Joseph Kroll in Iowa around this time, so I'm trying to figure out how confidently I can assume this document is connected to my grandfather.

I'm not seeing it in your question or comment sad

How strange. I've downloaded the file from the original page I'd found it and have uploaded it to a public storage site. Hopefully this link works now:

+3 votes
Can you find him in the 1925 Iowa census? The second page of the image has the reported names of parents with birthplaces
by Kay Knight G2G6 Pilot (624k points)
+2 votes
Likely his mother?

Source: "Iowa, Death Records, 1904-1951," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 18 October 2019), Anna E Krol, 21 Apr 1912, Mechanicsville, Cedar, Iowa, United States; citing certificate #, State Historical Society of Iowa, Des Moines; FamilySearch digital folder 102842710.   IMAGE:

Iowa, Death Records, 1904-1951
: Anna E Krol
: Death 21 Apr 1912 Mechanicsville, Cedar, Iowa longstanding goiter, 23 years, untreated
: Female  Married
: Age 38 Birth October 12, 1878
: Father Jones
: Burial ''?Rise/Rose'' Hill ''?McVelle''

From Frances in various census records it looks like she was born in IA (and Ruth in MN)  Frances appears to have lived her life in a hospital for persons with Epilepsy or dementia.
by Chris Hoyt G2G6 Pilot (897k points)
+3 votes
I have a lot of ancestors from Iowa in this time period and this specific census (1915) is a big pain. There is no connection to anyone else, just the person's information. There is no real good way to say specifically that this document refers to the person you want it to. You can deduce things by age, birth location and county, but you probably need to know that before you decided the document belongs to the person. That being said, if this was all you had, there's a lot of good information to point you in a direction you can research further. As you can see by this thread - others have found some pretty good sources with this as the starting point.
by Matt Melcher G2G6 Mach 2 (20.3k points)
+2 votes

Possibly his grandmother died in 1915, and he was left without family to care for him.

? Grandmother: Fathers name '' Jaquish''  Informant Joseph W. Jones

Source: "Iowa, Death Records, 1904-1951," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 18 October 2019), Elizabeth Jones, 7 Feb 1915, Cedar Bluff, Cedar, Iowa, United States; citing certificate #, State Historical Society of Iowa, Des Moines; FamilySearch digital folder 102842710.   IMAGE:

Iowa, Death Records
: Elizabeth Jones
: Death 7 Feb 1915  Cass, Cedar, Iowa
: Burial or removal  ''?McChancesville Town''
: Female Age 62 Married
: Birth April 9, 1852  Indiana
: Recorded Cedar Bluff, Cedar, Iowa
: Father  Peter L'' Jaquish'' Birth Unk
: Mother Martha Juznell Birth Indiana
: Informant Joseph W. Jones  Cedar Bluff

Maybe Elizabeth is ''Sarah Elizabeth'' Jacquish? Married Joseph U. Jones

Source: "Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 10 December 2017), Joseph U Jones and Sarah E Jacquish, ; citing Vigo, Indiana, United States, Marriage Registration, Indiana Commission on Public Records, Indianapolis; FHL microfilm 007030123.  IMAGE:

Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007
: Joseph U Jones
: Marriage Registration  17 Jun 1880  Vigo, Indiana, United States
: Spouse Sarah E Jacquish 
: Mother Martha Jane Jacquish

This record shows a Peter L. Jaquish  wife Martha M Gosnell

by Chris Hoyt G2G6 Pilot (897k points)
edited by Chris Hoyt

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