I have two 1920 Census' that match my Great Granpa and his family

+3 votes

Hi Everyone,

I'm not sure what to do and I don't want to do what I originally would do which was add both of them. I found my Great-Grandpa Sidney Ellingsen pretty easily in the 1920 census but I ended up finding him and his parents and siblings twice.

The first time was in as they put it "Milwaukee Ward 11, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States." https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MFVZ-Y3F?from=lynx1&treeref=L85D-XWB

But then I found them a second time in "Greenfield, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States." https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MFKM-VZ9?from=lynx1&treeref=L85D-XWB

Now if you don't know Greenfield is a suburb of Milwaukee. The only difference between the two of these besides of place is 2 of the boys change from Nephew to Grandson and one of them changes from James to Jens. 

This may have a simple solution but I just really want to make sure I get it right.

WikiTree profile: Sidney Ellingsen
in Genealogy Help by Amanda Frank G2G6 Mach 5 (50.9k points)

5 Answers

+4 votes
Modified answer for your situation: two different supervisors sent two different enumerators to 1195 Mitchell Street. It's a fact based on the page headers, but I can only guess how the duplication might have happened.




There is at least one legitimate circumstance that actually occurred in my family tree: The family moved faster than the census-taker! They were tabulated in one place in, say, June, and by July they were tabulated in their new location.

In your situation, can you check the specific dates of tabulation?

Have you done the due diligence that there are not two people with the name you are querying on?

Another annoying circumstance that I have actually encountered is having some kid visit relatives and get caught twice in a census. And census takers were not always diligent in recording the Relation to the Head for the visitors.

Best wishes.
by Roger Shepherd G2G3 (3.6k points)
edited by Roger Shepherd
I know they are the right family. The parents, Jens and Carrie, are right and the siblings are right. The Greenfield says the 6 + 7 of January of 1920. The Milwaukee one say the 3rd of January of 1920. To make this all more confusing it seems like it could actually be the same house on both records. Both have them listed living at 1195 Mitchell St.
+2 votes
Hi Amanda.  There was just recently another G2G question on the same issue -- it's not all that rare.  Read through this:

by Dennis Barton G2G6 Pilot (441k points)
I'm glad to know it's not that rare but my case isn't quite like that person's.
+2 votes
I agree, same address, different dates.  I don't know if this happened it the time frame we are looking at, but one year recently on the 2010 Federal Census, my household was visited twice for census data.  When I told the census taker I'd already completed all the information a few weeks ago, his explanation was that the Gov't randomly selects neighborhoods for internal checks and our neighborhood was chosen.

Of course he had a laptop, and was confirming the data entered, and not re-enumerating on paper!
by Chris Hoyt G2G6 Pilot (765k points)
+1 vote
I've seen this in a couple of my lines. The two different reports were generated because the family was in one location and then moved to a part of town the census takers had not surveyed. A bit confusing till I location and date checked the reports.
by T Lacey G2G6 Mach 3 (32.0k points)
+1 vote
I would certainly enter both sources. You or someone else in the future may well find subtle differences (in addition to the ones you mention) which will help them answer questions about the family.  I've run into several duplicate listings.  Recently I found a family listed in both Ohio and Florida.  The most common case is traveling salesmen who will be found with their family and also in a hotel, often far away.
by Dave Dardinger G2G6 Pilot (408k points)

Well things just got more confusing. I just put in the address 1195 Mitchell St, Greenfield Wi and then 1195 Mitchell St, Milwaukee Wi to see if they both existed or at least both had a Mitchell street. Well when I put in the Greenfield one it gives me Milwaukee as the city not Greenfield. 

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