I found double entries in 1860 US Census for Silas Innard Boggs What Now?

+7 votes


I have been compiling data via Census info. trying to find a link to the family of Rebecca James Boggs  and any links to her via her children Mary Jane Boggs McTheny and  Benjamin Boggs  

I have a habit of looking at the whole page, the page before and after when I find a lead on someone I am researching.  I just found Silas I Boggs listed twice on this Census.  The strange thing about this is on one listing he is with different ages.  The first listing dated Jun 1860 was found while looking for him. The second listing dated Aug 1860 was found while I was searching for his son Benjamin S Boggs by his first wife. Rebecca James Boggs

The information I found is as follows  

Aug 1860 Census Link 

Aug 1860  
House # S-36   Family # S-23
Silas Boggs      Age: 45
Charloette         Age:40
Caroline           Age:20
John               Age:18
Rebecca         Age: 15
Susan             Age:10


Jun 1860 Census Link

June 1860      
House # 206   Family # 198
Silas I Boggs     Age: 57
Charloette          Age: 47
Caroline            Age:  20
Rebecca           Age: 13
John                Age: 18
Susan              Age: 10


I guess the question is do i cite both listings in the 1860 Census for Silas Boggs?  Has anyone else found things like this before?  Also any suggestions on how I should to proceed in looking for the family of Rachel James? 

Any input or information is appreciated.  






WikiTree profile: Silas Boggs
in Genealogy Help by Mel Lambert G2G6 Mach 3 (32.1k points)

7 Answers

+2 votes
Mel, with the listings having different ages and house numbers I would say that they are different people and should only be listed on a profile for the correct person. It is not that unusual to have families with very similar names, 2 of my own brothers had a wife with the same given name and they both named their daughters the same name. So I would say that the June 1860 Census is the one that probably should be attached to the profile you linked to and that the April 1860 Census is for a different Silas Boggs
by Dale Byers G2G Astronaut (1.6m points)

Thanks for the fast answer.  I do have him listed under the June 1860 Census due to the age listed for him matching closer than the Aug 1860..  The other was just a fluke I found tonight.  What has thrown me for a loop is the fact they have the exact same children with matching ages.  Other than Rebecca Age: 13 in one and Age 15 in the other.  

I hope you have a wonderful day.  

I know the feeling when you find multiple census records and similar family names, My great grandfather was named John Smith. You know how many of those you find?
Oh yes My husbands side is Smith.  It is bad on myside with Samples.. Have hundreds and hundreds of them and of course we all pass down the same 5 names to each other.
+5 votes
It is entirely possible they are the same person.  

If someone moves around that date, the neighbors at the old house could say he lives at one address.  While he is at his new house and gives his new address.

I have it on one of my profiles for the 1920 census but I don't remember which one.  The one on my watchlist, they have the different addresses on the same day.
by Maureen Rosenfeld G2G6 Pilot (183k points)
+5 votes
I agree with Maureen, it's entirely possible this is the same family.  I've had at least one case of a person listed twice, AND some of the details were different.

I would cite both, noting which one agrees with information you already have.  Then, if you later find info that there was another Silas, with wife and children having the exact same names as your Silas' (which I think unlikely), you'll have the citation handy.
by Nan Starjak G2G6 Pilot (326k points)
Sorry I have to disagree with both you and Maureen. Just this morning I was working on a family that had 2 girls named Mary but with different middle names and when you look one of these records lists Silas aged 45 and the other has Silas I aged 57 so it seems more probable that they were related and the one used his middle initial to help tell the difference, with the name variation, age difference, and different addresses I would still think they are not for the same person.
I am not saying they are or are not the same.  I am saying it is possible.   Of course further research would be needed to decide.

I didn't say they are definitely the same, Dale. I said it's entirely possible.  And based on my own personal experience, it is possible.  Please note that neither Maureen nor I used the word "definitely." 

+3 votes
I have encountered a couple of those cases, and I agree with the others that there are several possibilities, and you should not leap to a conclusion based on this data alone.  One case was very similar to yours, where an entire family had been counted twice.  Although there were some differences in ages and other data, I reached that conclusion because there were other neighboring families that were also listed in both records, and I could find no other records to suggest that another family with the same or similar names had ever existed in the area.  It appeared that two different census enumerators had just inadvertently traveled down the same country road a couple of weeks apart, and the residents really were counted twice.

In your case those two records appear to have been created by the same census enumerator in the same locale, and (with a quick look) I didn't see any other duplicate entries nearby.  So yes, maybe there was one family that moved, or perhaps there were two different families.  If it's the latter, then there may be other records that could help to sort it out -- e.g., birth or death records, marriage records for the children, later census entries after the children reached adulthood, etc.  If you don't have any conclusive evidence at this point, I agree with Nan that you should include info about both records in the bio, and let any future researchers know what you have found and why there's uncertainty.
by Dennis Barton G2G6 Pilot (477k points)
+2 votes
It's way more common than you might think for someone to name his children after his brother's (or nephews or cousins) children when they're born about the same time.  Often the brothers, etc. are more different in age than the children and this is a bit of a tip-off that this could be the case here.  Why people did this sort of thing leading to potential confusion?  Who knows, but I suppose it's partly to support family ties.  Of course, in most cases it only happens for one or two children rather than as many as here, which makes the possibility of other reason such as one of the families providing / swapping day-care for the other and both reporting all the children .to the census taker.  But I'm sure other documents will turn up to clear things up..
by Dave Dardinger G2G6 Pilot (411k points)
I checked.  According to the quick search, there is only one Silas Boggs living in Braxton, Va.  in 1850.

When I searched for Charlotte, Sharlott came up as living with the above Silas.
I have been tracking Silas I Boggs starting from the 1820 Census.  I am also looking at all the James listed in that area.  Most of the Boggs in the 1830 Census are clustered and are all family in some way.  Just as the James are clustered but I have not researched them enough to see if they are family.  I have as of yet to type all the names listed in the 1860 Census to make sure that this is the same family and just double listed. Though I did do a quick search on  Charlotte and  one of the girls  and they  came up double.  I think I may just note this as an oddity at the end of the Bio for Silas...
The practice of naming children after loved ones goes way way back.  What makes it so hard for us today is that we do not always have the records that help untangle who is who's child.  :)   My tree has more Samuel Samples, Hiram Samples and Mary any last name than I care to think about.  Though I was hoping Silas would be easier but not in this family..   I have at least 4 of them in several generations.   

I guess it just makes the hunt all the better.  Because when you do find that one solid thing you are over the moon.
+3 votes
Mel, Thanks for asking this question. I have the same situation with the 1920.  Ruth, husband and daughter are living with Ruth's parents, but they also show up in a different county living living independently.  Although the name of the daughter is different, EVERYTHING else is the same.  The couple married in the county in which Ruth's parent's lived, but they moved and lived in the neighboring county, just 20 miles away.  I concluded that they are the same family, so I put both censuses on the profile.
by Vic Watt G2G6 Pilot (336k points)
+2 votes
You should cite both census records and note the difference in the ages.  I never accept ages based on just one census, I look for a consistent age pattern through at least 3 census' if possible.  I've had an age issue like this happen once with an elderly woman.  She appears in her own household as a widow and appears again several pages over in the household of her son with a very different age.  The difference in age could be the person giving the information not knowing.  The next census for her is consistent with age she had given in the previous census, so I discounted the age when she's in her son's household.  I have one ancestor who was a school teacher and farmer and shows up in the southern part of the county in the 1860 census and several months later appears in the northern part of the county.  I can only assume that he moved to a new area to teach school and farm.
by Carol Wilder G2G6 Mach 6 (60.6k points)

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