Sponsored By GenealogyBank

04 April 2014

Moving Away for a Short Time?

My wife's family came to Rock Island, Illinois from Belgium just in time to be listed there in the 1880 census. The family is enumerated in that county in every extant federal census taken before their deaths.

For some time I assumed they always lived in Illinois. It turns out they lived on a farm across the river in Scott County, Iowa, for a few years in the 1880s.

Never assume that people didn't move just because they are listed in the same location in two consecutive census records.


  1. That is so true. in the 1970 my husband and I lived in Asia and Europe but were "home" for the 1980 census. Then between 1980 and 1990 we lived in four different states and were back "home" for the 1990 census.

    We rented out the house in between our wanderings. Guess I should write it all down....

  2. Good reminder! Had I not had the deeds and a record of a land rental, I would have made a wrong assumption on the residences of my g-grandparents. Much can happen within those 10-year spans.

  3. My mother's family has lived in the same area for many generations, and I grew up there as well. However, in 1920, I saw them in the neighboring state. My grandfather's sister told me that her mother had allergies. The doctor thought the mountain air would be better, so they moved - but it didn't help the allergies so they moved back. The only reason I know this was because they were there for the 1920 census. I don't think they were there very long at all.