Another census error and citation question!

 
 
 
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zadygirl
zadygirl's picture
Another census error and citation question!

While working on my ProGen Evidence Analysis assignment I have uncovered an error on one of the census records I'm using and now have no idea how to do my final citation. 

This started with a 1900 census for my person in the report. He was enumerated twice in 1900. Once in Craven County, NC on 7 Jun 1900 and then on the 20th of Jun 1900 in Pasquotank County, NC. My research has already led me to know it's the same person so that isn't the issue. As I was writing up my analysis I realized that even though Ancestry had labeled this census to be in Pasquotank County, the record stated Pamlico County. I'm excited because this makes more sense but it's short lived when I realize what a mess has been made of the film.

I checked several of the neighbors in the 1910 census and they all showed up in Pamlico County not Pasquotank. Next, I checked the Family Search website and found the same issue.

A little more trial and error searching and I think I've figured out what might have happened. I went back to Ancestry did a search in the Catalog instead of a general search. I narrowed the search to 1900>Pamlico>District 5 and found a different film beginning on June 1st with penned sheet 1-A. All other information matches my original film. I went through page-by-page until the last one and the film ends on penned sheet 14-A. The next reel jumps to Pasquotank County. My guy isn't there because he's on penned sheet 16-A!

I went back to the orignal film I started with that states Pasquotank County but is really Pamlico County and sure enough it startes with penned page 14-B! A few more pages and there's my man! I suppose somewhere in the digitizing process this end piece of the reel became detached and then stuck in Pasquotank County. 

There is no problem doing the analysis and write up but I have absolutely no idea how to begin to write this kind of citation. I'm not even sure how to ask all the questions I feel there must be to even ask for help but help is what I need! Please!

Thank you,

Jeri Satterwhite-Dearing

zadygirl
zadygirl's picture

Good morning,

I've been reading through the Quick Lessons again this morning. QL 12: Chasing an Online Record into it's Rabbit Hole seems to address my initial question. Although the record is on Ancestry and Family Search with the same problem does this then lead me back to NARA? 

Is my first layer the original record I'm looking at and as you explain in GL 12, the second layer is the website where I found the record? I think so, but the third layer or more layers seem to be needed to explain the disconnect of the 2 parts of the record. 

I'll keep reading!

Jeri

EE
EE's picture

Ah, another tangled web tediously untangled by an attentive researcher—to the benefit of everyone who uses that record hereafter.

As you suggest in your last paragraph, the first layer of the citation identifies the census record you are eyeballing. The second layer identifies the website that is providing the image.

And then the issue gets complicated. As with Tom's question earlier this week (https://www.evidenceexplained.com/content/error-census), the difficult part is not the actual citation. It's writing the little "proof argument" you need to add, the one in which you discuss the evidence that leads you to conclude the provider has misidentified the source.

As for your class project, you should earn an A+ on that evidence analysis module.

The Editor

zadygirl
zadygirl's picture

Thank you! I think writing the little "proof argument" was the easy part. I'm still pondering the citation. I have ten days to pull that one together so I may run it by EE before the last moment! My mentors know I've posted here to get help as well as help others. Thank you for the words of support. This was quite a bit of fun!

Jeri

Brian G
Brian G's picture

Archive.org offers images of the NARA microfilms with little or no alteration.  That preserves the context of the records, which is helpful.

I often use Ancestry to find the roll number, then look at that roll on Archive.org.  (It takes a minor amount of additional searching to find the image on the roll.)  I then cite Archive.org rather than Ancestry, of course.

The images on Archive.org for Pamlico Co., Twp. 5 are continuous to Sheet 19B, no jump to Pasquotank.

Brian

EE
EE's picture

Great tip, Brian—one that that many of our readers likely have not discovered yet.

The Editor

zadygirl
zadygirl's picture

Brian,

One of our mentors mentioned this site when I first came across the issue. I had so much trouble working through the films because I was looking for the wrong film number. Thank you for adding the comment. I have figured it out and will use this website from now on for my census research. It's been a great week of learning!

Jeri

Brian G
Brian G's picture

I'd suggest comparing what's offered by FamilySearch.org, Ancestry and Archive.org rather than using Archive.org exclusively.

For example:

  • Which one has an image that best seems to pick up nuances in the original?  Sometimes faint pen strokes make all the difference!
  • Which one provides the best context for the record, if that context is material to interpreting the record?
  • Who is your audience?  Would a non-subscription source be easier for your audience to access?

Brian

EE
EE's picture

A valuable suggestion, Brian. Thanks for taking the time to pass it on to other researchers.

The Editor

zadygirl
zadygirl's picture

Thank you, Brian. I should re-word my previous comment. I will use this source together with the other sources in the future, not exclusively. I did compare all of the images on the different sites to make my final decision of which one to use as the record I'm presenting in the assignment. 

Would there be a time that you would present more than one way to access the source? There are pros and cons to the non-subscription and subscription sites. 

Jeri

IsabellEllie
IsabellEllie's picture

Seeing all of the evidence, I think that it will be much easy to know about different things especially when it comes to write a best dissertation according to the required dissertation citation style.

PhD dissertation writing services

EE
EE's picture

Epic fail, IsabellEllie.

(1) This website is populated by people who love to do their own research and writing.

(2) Most of them can write grammatically correct sentences.

(3) Odds are good that your "service" has no experience in using or citing the kinds of complex  records used by the researchers at this site.

I'm removing your link but will leave your posting as a caution to other writing-mill spammers.

The Editor