Can There Be Two Of The Same Census?

Why indeed – there can be two of the same census. The way this works is that the area was enumerated twice. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen and I have one such case in my family tree.

My great great grandfather Adolph Doerflinger and his wife, Augusta, lived in St. Louis, Missouri in 1880. Both had immigrated from Germany and they owned and operated a boarding house/bar. They lived there with thier only son, Max and multiple boarders.

Well, when I did the search for Adolph, I discovered two entries on Ancestry’s 1880 census database. So, I began looking at their index and sure enough – both entries listed a wife as “Augusta Doerflinger” and a son as “Max Doerflinger”. Adolph was listed in both entries as being born in 1851 in Germany (one actually said Baden). One said that he was a boardhouse keeper and another said a bar keeper.

So I looked at the dates of enumeration for both – and I found out that both were indeed the same person – with a lot of the same boarders listed. However – one enumeration was done in June of 1880 and the other in November of 1880.

I don’t expect it happens often, but it obviously happens enough where us genealogists need to keep our eyes out for it.

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4 Responses to Can There Be Two Of The Same Census?

  1. This happened once in my tree, too. No question these are the same people. The census dates are a few months apart.

  2. I have an even stranger case in the 1900 census. My wife’s great grandparents are listed as living in two places a week apart in June. On June 7th they are living in Atlanta, GA with one of the parents and a sister (unusual names and same birth years make this a certainty) but on June 13th they are also listed in Madison, GA, living together with their two children (who are noted but not counted or named in the June 7th census). How does that happen? Were they in the process of moving? Were they just over for a visit and the overzealous enumerator decide to count them anyway? Very strange. But I guess this is not an exact science.

  3. I think that your Adolph is a distant relative of mine as well. I'm reading this and scouring my feeble geneological information from memory and I know that SOME Doerflinger's in my history (Melchior? Otto?)once lived in St. Louis then moved to Hermann, MO where they had two children Florence (Jacobs) and Robert Samuel Doerflinger. (Who was my gradfather). All were gone LONG before I was born and only know names as Grandma Doerflinger and Grandpa Doerflinger.

  4. Beth – I haven't been able to find a relation between the Otto and Melchoir Doerflingers that you talk about, but there is certainly a chance that they are related. I know both lived in St. Louis at the same time and I was very interested in them, but I haven't found any proof that they are related.

    Email me at GenealogistElyse AT gmail DOT com if you'd like.

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