How can I merge children in a plural marriage, conflicting mothers?

+3 votes
In one of the profiles that I recently adopted, a man has 74 children. He's an early Utah settler, I assume, and his biography says that he had 57 children, meaning that some need to be merged.

The problem that I encounter here is, that some children that look like obvious merge candidates have different mothers, and are therefore hard to assign to the right one. On FamilySearch I can find census record with their names, but no births or baptisms, and it looks like census papers were made for individual couples, which can then be interpreted as linking the children with their biological mothers. Is that right?

I have no idea of early habits, whether children were always put in a census with their biological mother, or more like distributed so that every mother would take care of the same amount of children, or as many as she could handle at the time, which is why I ask.

If there is no easy answer, I will merge children where appropriate, and add the other mother to the biography.
WikiTree profile: Milo Andrus
in Policy and Style by anonymous G2G6 Mach 2 (20.2k points)

2 Answers

0 votes
At least one of them (Sarah Ann) isthe same person, with the same birthdates and the same mothers.  How many are left after you merge those that are the same?
by Maureen Rosenfeld G2G6 Pilot (183k points)
In this particular case, it would make not much difference, because the mothers that are attached to the child that I tried to merge are definitely different, i.e no merge candidates at all.

I'm trying to use available sources and fellow genealogists knowledge to figure out which mother to assign as the biological one. One way to do that is to look at one census entry for this child, which is

and lists Anne Andrews as the primary female in this household. She is one of the 11 wives in this marriage, born Ann Brooks, so without further proof, I can choose her as the mother in a merge.

The oldest female in this household, Elizabeth Brooks, may very well be Ann's mother or aunt, I don't know. What I do know is that she married Milo at the same day.

This then raises a new question: Was it common for a man to marry a mother and daughter in those days? Or aunt and niece?
0 votes

My two cents:

  • Merge the duplicates wifes first; there seems to be two pairs of duplicates.
  • In similar situations, I merge the children profiles as long as both mothers are connected to the father. If somebody can prove you made the wrong choice, it is easy to change the mothers afterwards.
by Living Pictet G2G6 Mach 3 (30.3k points)
There is one pair of duplicates here. The other pair married Milo at the same day, and first I thought they were sisters. Their birth years are 32 years apart though, which is confirmed by the census, so I guess that they are related in another way.

For the merging of one child, I now have reasonable proof in the census for the right mother, but for other, I may have to keep an alternative in the bio. Do we have a standard for that? There are 17 children to be merged, so where there is still doubt, I like to do this in a standard way.

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