Can't find a brother & sister in the census at all.

+3 votes

So I have four siblings who emigrated from England to Louisiana.  They all show up on censuses in England living together when they are young.  After that, I think they came over in this order:

1- William Henry - date unknown
2- John Mousley, 1867, came from Liverpool to New Orleans on the Moss Rose (source: immigration records, and diary)
3- Catherine Elizabeth, 1875. (source - column on US 1900 Census)
4- Sarah, date unknown, presumably 1875 if she came with her sister. 

We know William Henry came before John, because John says so in his diary. The only one of the four I have found immigration records on so far is John Mousley.

But what is MORE confusing to me is that I cannot even find US CENSUS records on William Henry or Sarah.  Presumably William Henry was here in 1870 and 1880. His brother John Mousley appears in both of those, and in 1900.  Catherine shows up in 1880 and 1900 as well.

But I can find no trace of either William Henry or Sarah in either 1870 or 1880 censuses!!

Any ideas?

William Henry:

John Mousley:



WikiTree profile: William Yates
in Genealogy Help by Crispin Reedy G2G6 Mach 4 (42.2k points)
edited by Ellen Smith

2 Answers

+3 votes
Have you tried alternate spellings? I try to imagine what my ancestor's name might sound like to someone  unfamiliar with the accent. I've found the most outlandish spellings, like Antwan for Antoine, Okuli for Hercules. Even the simplest names can be totally butchered. I've seen Hanks spelled Hawks, Hinks, Hench, Henx, Hencks, Hains, Hans, Harls, Banks. Whether or not the census taker got it right, the person who transcribed it has a whole other shot at it.

If you know names of anyone who might live nearby, that can pay off as well.

Good luck!
by Stephanie Ward G2G6 Mach 7 (76.1k points)
Thanks, I'll give it a go!
+2 votes
U.S. census records aren't perfect. Sometimes people got missed, and others got counted twice.

But I agree with Stephanie -- you should search on alternative spellings (Yeats and Yaits are two examples of alternative spellings for Yates; my Yates ancestors show up with spellings like Jaets in early New York records, where the Dutch language was prevalent). Also, be aware that when your searching is limited to Family Search you may be missing records that were incorrectly transcribed and indexed by the Family Search volunteers, but are correctly transcribed in another database (such as Ancestry or FindMyPast).
by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
Thanks, that's good.  I was wondering why somethings seem a little different in the various databases.  Good to know!

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