I know this is old news to anyone conducting genealogical research; the trouble with transcribing names written in elaborate handwriting in a census or other source, or even worse—-relying on a printed index based on someone else’s transcriptions! But in my family, there is one specific ancestor who was a victim of mis-transcription so frequently, I thought it was worth a post. Maybe even a laugh, now that the frustration has worn off.
The ancestor is George Thornton Golden, and the “T” is the culprit.
1850 Census: appears in household of Jesse Golden as “Thornton” (note this record is indexed as “Goldon”
1851 Marriage license of Geo “T” to Julia
1860 Census: listed as George “T” (or is that a “P”? It’s indexed as “P” on Ancestry.com)
1870 Census: listed as “Thonton”
1880 Census: listed as “Geo”
1900 Census: listed as George “T” (looks a lot like an “F”?)
Death record listed as George “L”
Obituary listed as George “F” (but luckily indexed as George “T” by the library). The obituary brings us back to his father, Jesse.
His tombstone, next to that of Jesse, says “Geo T”, with “Julie” on the other side. Unfortunately I don’t have a better picture of this stone—I will need to try to get one.
He is named as “G.T.” in his father’s obituary, not named in his mother’s. So, we don’t have a single source that states his full name as George Thornton! His full name has to be inferred from the various sources. Luckily, he and Julia had 8 children, which helps in aligning the census records, in addition to the fact that there are no other George Goldens in Ohio of his age, and no other George Goldens in Auglaize County.
The moral of the story—don’t trust everything you read!