I have spent hours puzzling over a record in the 1880 U.S. Census. 1880 is the year my grandmother Mary Elizabeth Murdock went from her home in Crown Point New York to Newark Ohio. Why did she go? I’ve been asking this question for a long time. Yesterday I asked my 90 year old sister again if she knew – no. Ditto with my 91 year old sister.
The 1880 Census record for Charles Dana Miller shows a household of 4 – himself age 42, a daughter Lucy age 14, a son Charles D age 13, and a sister/son Elvz Miller age 42 whose occupation is Keeping House. Obviously this record has inconsistencies. Charles the head of the household did not have a sister of this age nor a son 2 years younger than himself nor a sister-in-law who would fit this description. Being a widower with 2 children he would need a housekeeper. Housekeepers were usually female. But was this person in fact my grandmother Mary Elizabeth Murdock newly arrived from Crown Point? That had always been the family story. Was this a case of careless Census recording??