Charles Perry Bartram issue with different census reports regarding his parentage

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Hello everyone, and thank you for taking the time to read this, and possibly, you may be in a position to answer my questions:

(small intro) I'm a part of the Bartram family, and I've found some discrepancies on different census reports regarding the parentage of my 2nd great-grandfather. The thing is, family notes disagree with the census that claims his parents were born in England, and then one census claims his parents were born in Michigan (well, he was born there, but they were not), and another one (census) says both his mother and father were born in New York. 

Okay, so I have  a little bit of family records that dispute the official documentation. I'm fortunate to have a 99-year old-great aunt (whom I do not know, but my aunts and uncles know her well), and I'm going to refer you to the the profile in a bit, who may be able to resolve this because it's about her grandfather.

BUT: considering the number of discrepancies with each Census, do I not go back to the previous generation (as believed by records I've received from my family, which for this matter, are not official--and almost everyone is dead), or do I go with the two Census reports that (while neither agrees with the other both say that the parentage of the individual is from the US).

Here's the link--also, I just wrote that profile, so I may be too close to it, and it may be confusing (as may this post). Please let me know if the bio's content is confusing, and if you think I should continue with the family line as I know it (despite the discrepancies in various census reports.).

Charles Perry Bartram

I do have an obituary, which I shall add. But that says nothing about his parentage. And per the family's records, his father died in the Civil War (and he was born in New York), so his mother remarried, and for a time this ancestor uses a different surname. It's the 19th century, so adoption was different, I have a distant relative on the Murdock side who was a Mormon (though she converted to Catholicism after her second marriage), but she was adopted because her mother died during child-birth, and since her father and the family who adopted her were Mormon, the father did not give her to his or to his late-wife's family. I'm just going on and getting more confusing. Adoption in the 18th and 19th century was different than in the 20th century. It was informal (generally) and everyone knew the identity of the parents. So this Charles Bartram lost his father, who died in the Civil War, and his mum remarried another David (Black), so the records are crazy. I trust those sent me records, but I'm not certain if I should go back any further because it's not 100%; it's about 98%. And if I go with David Burr B. as the dad to this man, then I have to stop with Jabez Bartram, because even I (and everyone it seems, who has researched the Bartram family has a problem with Jabez), and I won't take the leap about his parentage, but I have sufficient evidence to prove that this Charles was the son of David who was the son of Jabez, but I don't know if should go back that far considering the issues with different Census reports, and I WON'T take the leap past Jabez (even though many have) because I have no real evidence.

Thank you!

in Genealogy Help by Tamara Murdock G2G6 (8.5k points)

2 Answers

+1 vote

Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index, 1916-1947

Name: Charles Bartram
Birth Date: 12 Jun 1858
Birth Place: Michigan
Death Date: 12 Oct 1931
Death Place: Peru, LaSalle, Illinois
Burial Date: 15 Oct 1931
Burial Place: La Salle, La Salle, Ill.
Cemetery Name: Oakwood Cemetery
Death Age: 73
Occupation: Coal Miner
Race: White
Marital Status: M
Gender: Male
Residence: Cedar Point, Ill.
Father Name: David Bartram
Father Birth Place: Scotland
Mother Name: Mirandy Beard
Spouse Name: Elizabeth Bartram
FHL Film Number: 1653950
Source Information:
Ancestry.com. Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index, 1916-1947 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
by Eddie King G2G6 Pilot (530k points)
Thank you! His mother's name was Miranda/Maranda Baird/Beard ( as was his daughter's name minus the surname of Baird/Beard).

As you see, this record has the birth as Scottish for his father. I have an Ancestry account, too! I've seen this record... it does get back to the issue: in this case, his father is being called Scottish rather than English (rather than born in New York or Michigan.). I do believe David's biological father died in the Civil War, and I glimpsed your next answer, and I should at that.
You always have to remember that 'death' information is being given by someone, other than the actual person that might know, since the person is now dead.  I have frequently seen the Death records have incorrect Birth Location for parents.  When you look at the Family Lists for Census, you will see many of them with different birth locations from Census to Census, possibly because the 'wife' may be giving the information, not the 'husband', or vice versa, and they are mistaken about what is correct.  Frequently, it wasn't even discussed where they came from, so the later generations don't really know.  Ages in the US Federal Census should normally be 10 years apart, but frequently they are not, for whatever reason, especially women, did not have the correct age on each census.  Census is a great 'help' in names, locations, and years to be used in further research.
Linda, thank you so much. I agree with you. I've read some death certificates, which demonstrate precisely what you're saying: the person has no clue. But some good news! My great-aunt is being informally interviewed by one of her children (and this entry is about her grandfather, so there is a good chance she--now 99--will know some of this information, or have family letters, a family scrapbook (something that reveals information). She's the primary source!

But I've encountered exactly what you wrote on the Murdock side, which was far easier to research because I found the family Bible (one of them), and, I had so much more information to go on that it was pretty easy to weed out incorrect records. I have to write more detailed bios and provide more documentation, but I shall. Have been on this site for just under a week, so it'll take some time.

Thanks again for your response.
+1 vote

Name: David Bartram
Rank: Private
Unit: Cogwell's Battery Light Artillery
Height: 5' 10
Hair: GRAY
Eyes: BLUE
Complexion: LIGHT
Occupation: Miner
Birth Date: Abt 1822
Birth Place: NY
War: Civil War
War Years: 1861-1865
Service Entry Age: 42
Service Entry Date: 31 Mar 1864
Service Entry Place: Ottawa, IL
Joined By Whom: CPT COGSWELL
Period: 3 YRS
Muster In Date: 25 Apr 1864
Muster In Place: Springfield, IL
Remarks: DIED AT NASHVILLE TENN JUN 23, 1864
Residence Place: Lasalle, Lasalle CO, IL
Record Source: Illinois Civil War Muster and Descriptive Rolls
URL: http://www.ilsos.gov/isaveterans/civilMusterSearch.do?key=13727

Source Information:

Ancestry.com. Web: Illinois, Databases of Illinois Veterans Index, 1775-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015

by Eddie King G2G6 Pilot (530k points)
This is that Charle's father, in my mind, and per family records!

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