… resist it, anyway. The lure of the Ancestry hint.
The hint you have to shoehorn in to fit the
“confirmation” elsewhere for the veracity of the hint, and if you just make a
couple of "minor" assumptions (or maybe three or four … or seven) about the (lack
of) accuracy of census-takers, then…
I have been doing some basic research on the children of
Wiley Franklin Moore and Mary Hood Busby, or actually filling in some missing
pieces in previous research on this collateral line (the line of Freeman Manson
Moore, a brother of my great-great grandfather William Spencer Moore).
This has included filling out one of my
Ancestry trees with data on this family.
I was working on Arthur Elton Moore, the sixth known
child of Wiley Franklin Moore and Mary Hood Busby.
I examined the various hints suggested by
According to my previous
research, Arthur appears with his siblings on the 1910 US Federal Census, then
next on the 1930 census, plus there was SSDI information and a World War I
Draft Registration Card.
He was missing from
the 1920 census, as were some other Moores from this line.
But Ancestry gave me a hint for the 1920 census:
1920 US Federal Census, Justice Precinct
1, Hopkins County, Texas, ED 65, p. 7A, 7 Jan 1920
Line 25 232
Infirmary Street 138 161
Moore, Elton A.
Head R M W 30 M Yes Yes TX TX TX Yes Mail carrier Rural
Neeley Wife F W 24 M Yes Yes TX TN
TX Yes Shoe making At home W
Hoyal Son M W 6 S No TX TX TX None
Alleen Dau F W 3-3/12 S TX TX TX
didn’t trust it, so I decided to review the other hints first. The hints included a couple of links to
Findagrave. There I found two children
listed for Arthur Elton and Ruby McClain Moore:
Harley E. Moore and Vida Aleen Moore Handley.
pretty good. But there were
1. Instead of
Arthur E. Moore (according the 1900 and 1940 censuses, and on the 1910 and 1930
censuses he is Arthur and Arthur L.), the name given is Elton A.
His age is
His occupation is
listed as mail carrier rather than farmer (as it is in the other censuses).
His wife’s name
was Ruby, not Neeley.
His son’s name was
Harley, not Hoyal.
According to the
1930 census, his second child’s name is Jewel B. Moore, not Alleen Moore.
7. There is no mention of third child Berney Elbert Moore
who, according to the 1930 census, was born around 1919.
Here were my explanations:
I have often seen
ancestors’ first and middle names used alternately, especially in this family
Besides – Arthur E. vs. Elton A. –
still basically the same initials.
information provider error.
The census did say
“Rural” after mail carrier, so the change in occupation was possible.
initial was given as “N” in the 1930 and 1940 censuses – that could be Neeley.
– and the approximate year of birth – 1914 – did match.
Hm, this one was a
But the approximate year
of birth – 1916 – did match.
This one was also
a head-scratcher, and I actually forgot it in my excitement at seeing Aleen
Moore listed as one of Arthur Elton’s children on Findagrave.
But I didn’t let things stand at that.
After changing “Jewel B. Moore” to “Vida Aleen
Moore” on my Ancestry tree, I started to examine the hints for her.
One was the California Death Index.
One item on it gave rise to a gnawing
her mother’s maiden name –
So my next step was to see what I could come up with for a
search on Neeley Blunt.
And then my little house of straw started to collapse.
Among the items for Neely Blunt Moore were a picture of her
with her children, Vida Aleen Moore and Hoyal Moore.
And a picture of Aleen’s father, Elton Alexander Moore.
Though one interesting item was that Aleen’s mother’s name
was actually Ruby Neely Blunt (or Blount).
No wonder people are so confused about these two families.
On my Ancestry tree, the damage was already done.
Now I had to figure out how to remove the
1920 census from the list of sources (it took me a while).
And even then, the “fact” – residence in
Hopkins, Texas in 1920 – had to be removed separately.
And I should have known to be more skeptical, because I had
just gone through something like this with Arthur’s brother, Wiley A(u)gustus
Moore, and with his uncle, Samuel Alexander Napoleon Moore.
A lot of people want Wiley to be Wiley William Moore.
After all, as one researcher has pointed out,
his name on the 1900 census is “clearly” given as Wiley W. Moore.
I guess you just never know when to be
skeptical of census-takers.
And this is
another case where Findagrave duplicates the assumptions made by some readers:
He is listed as Wiley W. Moore and is linked
to the Wiley Franklin Moore family.
The two census hints given by Ancestry are the right
even if he is Wiley W. on the 1900
census, he is with the right family, and since he is listed as being in the
Kansas State Reformatory in 1910, I’m pretty sure that’s right, too.
But the next two hints are not so hot.
The World War I Draft registration card for
Wiley William Moore lists his mother and father as dependents (Mary Hood Busby
Moore died in 1905) and the California Death Index information for this same
Wiley William Moore (the date of birth for both is 20 April 1889) lists his
mother’s maiden name as Smith.
Then there is Samuel Alexander Napoleon Moore.
I have 11 rejected Findagrave hints for him,
starting with the Findagrave hint for an Alexander Nepolin Moore.
It lists his father as Israel Moore (my guy’s
father was William S. Moore), although it does have Nancy “Dublin” (= Dulin) Moore
as his mother.
The death certificate for
this guy also indicates that Isrial Moore was his father.
But on the 1860 census there is an Alex N.B.
Moore of about the right age – and his father is Israel Moore. The woman who
appears to be his mother/his father’s wife is named Caroline, however.
Alexander Moore eventually married a Mary Delaney Cheeves.
And a lot of other Ancestry family trees,
probably following the lead of Findagrave and ignoring that inconvenient bit
about Israel Moore being the father, have Mary Delaney Cheeves as “our” Wiley
In other words, these families are totally confused with one
So even when Ancestry hints “seem” to be confirmed by
information found elsewhere, when there any sort of conflicting information, it
pays to be super-cautious.