Raised from the dead by the U. S. Census

+2 votes
Like anyone who had much experience with U. S. Census records, I've seen a lot of errors, but this is a new one on me.

The death of Elbridge H. Beckler in August 1908 is clearly documented, both by an obituary published the next month, and by a FindAGrave memorial. But there he is in the 1910 Census, living at Chicago as a widower with his two daughters, with no wife (who was very much alive) shown. The age matches within a year of his wife's age at the time and is off by five years of what his would have been.

My guess is that the information came from one of the daughters and was misunderstood by the census taker, who thought it was the mother who was deceased and not the father.
WikiTree profile: Elbridge Beckler
in The Tree House by Stu Bloom G2G6 Mach 9 (92.2k points)

1 Answer

+3 votes
Or, the entry is Mrs. E H Beckler. The birth locations match her. The Mrs is missing. It could be an error is transcription of the census taker data onto the form.

I've seen quite a few census where the wife is identified as Mrs. husband's name.
by Kay Knight G2G6 Pilot (477k points)
A missing "Mrs." is a possiblity, though I've personally never seen that. The sex is marked "M", but the age is closer to hers than to his. The Maine birthplace could be explained: though he was born in Massachusetts (from his birth record and also the obit referenced on the profile), his parents moved back and forth between Boston and Livermore at least twice during the period, and apparently even they were confused on where he had been born - the 1860 Census shows his birthplace as Maine, as does the 1865 Mass. state census.
I do remember seeing a dead relative listed in a Census somewhere. Wish I could remember who and when/where,

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