Archiver > IRISH-IN-CHICAGO > 2005-03 > 1109882172

From: Dan Hogan <>
Subject: Re: [Irish in Chicago] Finding Irish Parish records in Ireland
Date: Thu, 3 Mar 2005 12:36:12 -0800
In-Reply-To: <001201c5202c$01f7bcf0$77cf3542@greenmill>

Hi Jim,
I am replying to the list since many may also have the same types of
questions, hope you do not mind.
This "phenomena" of people getting older/younger in census records is
quite common.
As for the census taker, they were not paid much and seemed to be in a
hurry so pretty much anything goes when looking in the census records.
They often arrived and asked questions of whom ever was around
including children. They literally wrote down what people said without
question. I have seen occupations listed as "lazy, good for nothing,
drunk", etc.
Also, they enumerated all that were in a particular home, no matter if
they lived there or not. You can find some of the goofiest statements,
dates, and even persons that were each others parents; parents listed
as children and vice-versa; people listed after they died or before
they were born, anything goes, literally.
Dan Hogan

On Thursday, March 3, 2005, at 12:02 PM, greenmill wrote:

> Hi Dan, An few more takes on trying to pin down Irish birthdays:
> My emigrants all seem to have been 17 when they came here and got
> older in
> later census reports. Probably the cost of a ship's ticket. Many, my
> ggram
> included, wasn't only 17 but was born on 17 March, St. Pat's. Many were
> listed for that.
> Another problem, not just for the Irish: who responded to the census
> taker? A 12 year old? A senile
> elder?
> Jim Ryan, CA

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