16 comments

  1. Now if I could just break a brick wall. I know my gr gr gr grandfather Hugh McCoy didn’t just fall out of the sky in 1792 into NC :-).

    1. Have you tried all the different spellings you can think of, such as McCaughey or MacCoughey? Sometimes names got simplified from their original forms. Just a thought…

    2. There is a Hugh Mccoy in Mecklenburg County, NC and Macon County, NC on the 1840 census. The spelling with 2 small c’s didn’t come up in my original search. I thought this was a name in my tree, but I have a Hugh McCall. Hope this helps.

  2. YES! My maternal g-g-g grandmother. She is listed under 2 different names and I can only find her on 2 census lists. Very frustrating.

  3. Great tips.

  4. We’ve had several who seem to “fall off the planet.” Census takers rarely missed families but it did happen. The 1890 census was destroyed. Alabama did not require death certificates until well after 1920. Some names on the census may be a middle name or version of a name you don ‘t expect. Too many of our rural ancestors were buried in unmarked graves. The frustration in genealogy is half the fun.

  5. Even though a death certificate was required after 1920, it was up to the funeral room to send in the information. My grandfather died in 1959 and yet the state says he never existed. The people that own to the funeral home has him in their records, but somehow the information never got to the state.

  6. We have one in Jackson County, Alabama.

  7. I have a couple elusive ancestors. One I cannot find anything on BEFORE her marriage in 1833. The other only appears in the 1870 census. I have no idea as to siblings for either of them. Suggestions are welcome!

    1. Names?

  8. I’m firmly convinced that the Raley family landed in Virginia in the 1790’s in a space ship.

  9. Yep. I found my grandfather at his father-in-law’s house in the 1910 census rather than where I thought he had lived.
    Like · Reply · Just now

  10. Hi , everyone , the mystery in my search m is my mother’s mother , this woman was very secretive about where she was from , she never as long as I can remember , ever mentioned her own parent , the frustrating thing for me has been , trying to find her in Census , I can find her , once she & my Grandfather were married , and had families of their own…..

  11. Jennifer Stickler Riddle

  12. I found one reference to an ancestor, (with an extremely unusual name) who was 5 when a census was taken and have found nothing else, no death or marriage records, or his name 10 years later for the next census. It’s very frustrating!

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