14 September 2012

Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.

Below are census details for records attached to one profile.
Comments after the jump.

B: abt 1885, Canada
D: 3 Dec 1964, Vermont

>Sweeney Family in Montpelier, VT
 Charles 28 (Fr Canada), Mary 25, Charley 8, Mary 7, Jennie 5, Mabel 3, Paul 2, Robert 10/12
>Sweeny Family in Cleveland, OH
 Charles S 44, Dorcas 44, Charles 15 (OH), Harold 12
>Sweeney Family in Brooklyn, NY
 Charles B 53, Blanche R 46, Charles T 23 (NY)

>Sweeney Family in Worcester, MA
 Charles 52 (MA), Jennie L 49, Charles A 14, Eleanor G 12
>Sweeny Family in Manhattan, NY
 Chas 33 (NY), Edna M 29, Charles 3
>Sweeny Family in Dover, NH
 Charles 35 (NH), Mary 32

>Sweeney Family in Philadelphia, PA
 Charles 56 (Ireland), Mary 56, John 28, Robert 23, Herman 22, Anna 18, Thomas 15, Eugene 13
>Sweeney Family in Buffalo, NY
 Charles 44, NY, Mary 45

 ⓑⓐⓡⓚⓘⓝⓖ  ⓤⓟ  ⓣⓗⓔ  ⓦⓡⓞⓝⓖ  ⓣⓡⓔⓔ

"Do not" would have been a better choice for the person that created this tree. Looks like they didn't try at all. They just went click crazy on whatever censuses showed up on the first page of results because computer search engines are absolutely infallible. All 41,000+ results that show up in search results are indeed your ancestor. (Still waiting on that sarcasm font.)
At first glance it looks like only one of the eight records has the potential of being correct. The first record for 1900 could be right if the birth year on Charles' profile is incorrect.
So let's see how impossible it is to sort this all out. It must be impossible. That's why this person couldn't figure out which one is their ancestor, right?
Looking at the tree it looks as though Charles Sweeny is the great-grandfather of the "home" person. Moving down the tree the grandfather of the home person is Charles' son Robert Sweeney. There is a marriage record attached to his profile.
Age: 22
Place of Birth: Northfield, VT
Date of Marriage: 4 Jan 1921
Place of Marriage: Montpelier, VT
Father: Charles Sweeney, born in Worcester, MA
Mother: Mary LeClair, born in Northfield, VT
Luckily Vermont is a small state and this family stayed in Montpelier for quite some time. Conclusion? Robert is the baby in the very first census above, living with his parents and siblings. That means the birth year for Charles should be about 1872 because he certainly didn't become a father for the first time at the age of 7. (Spelled out: The oldest child's age in 1900 was 8 years old meaning he was born about 1892. The profile has Charles' birth year at about 1885. Not likely.)
Robert has another census attached before he gets married and starts a family of his own, the 1920 census. Well two 1920 censuses actually but I'm going to ignore the one that says his name is Charles, he was born in Massachusetts in 1906 and his parents are Charles and Jennie. Different name, different birth place and year, different parents. Anyone could make that mistake, right? *head/desk*head/desk*head/desk*
Okay, so the other census record:
 Sweeney Family in Montpelier, VT
 Mary (widow)    43
 Paul                  23
 Robert             21
 Frederic            18
 Beatrice            15
Now either the death date on Charles' profile is also incorrect OR Mary lied so people wouldn't think she was abandoned or separated or divorced OR this isn't the same Robert Sweeney. The 1910 census is proving more elusive but at least we have the correct age for Charles and a better estimation of who his family was. Hint: They were NOT everyone with a Charles Sweeney in their household.

Hat tip to David for the heads up about this profile ;-)

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1 comment:

  1. LOL! I'm trying to track my great-aunt Agnes' husband who's a Sweeney - George Bernard Sweeney - so this just tickles my funny bone.