Mystery Monday: Enumerated Twice in the 1910 Census?

Ancestry HintsWhat I enjoy most about is its intuitive search interface! After locating my great-grandparents –Lewis & Carrie (Blanton) Chappel– in the 1910 Census and adding data from that record to each of their Ancestry timelines a “shaky leaf” hint appeared! When I followed that hint, the historical record that it referred me to was for another 1910 U. S. Census entry for my great-grandmother Carrie Chappel. At first, I thought it was an entry for another “Carrie Chappel” in this record because I had already located her with her family in this same precinct and enumeration district. But upon further investigation, this entry was indeed for my great-grandmother who was enumerated twice in the 1910 Census!

Carrie [Blanton] Chappel Enumerated Twice in 1910 Census

Carrie (Blanton) Chappel Enumerated Twice in 1910 Census


Enumerated on a date not specified by the Enumerator, this 1910 U. S. Federal Census reports living at 1604 Cleveland Street, Houston 4 Ward, Harris County, Texas were: [1]

Line 70: Rosa Williams, head of household, age 24, a widow, born in Texas as were her parents, works as a Washerwoman from home, rents the house she lives in

Line 71: Alice, daughter, age 6, born in Texas as were her mother and siblings, with a father reportedly born in Missouri

Line 72: Moselle, son, age 5

Line 73: Rosie May, daughter, age 1

Line 74: Carrie Chapel, sister, age 23, married for 4 years, mother of 1 living child, born in Texas as were her parents, works as a Cook for a private family

Line 75: Daniel Spryor, male boarder, age 43, widow, born in Texas as were his parents, works as a common laborer on odd jobs, could not read or write

Reviewing Ancestor Data

Review Data for New Clues and Information


How do I know line 74 of the record above is my great-grandmother, Carrie Chappel? The head of household, Rose (Blanton) Williams, is my great aunt and one of Carrie’s younger sisters!

But there are two major questions that immediately come to mind as I take a closer look at this record:
1) Why is Carrie’s information in this record so much different from the information I have where she’s enumerated with her husband and son?
2) Didn’t Ida May Ford, the Enumerator on both census records, not recognize Carrie or at least remember counting her probably weeks before with her husband and son?

Very interesting indeed!

In the 1910 census record with her husband and son, Carrie’s entry reads: [2]

Line 37: Carrie Chappel, wife, age 27, married 7 years, mother of 1 child that’s living, born in Texas with parents reportedly born in Mississippi, has no occupation

But in this second 1910 record above, her entry reads:

Line 74: Carrie Chapel, sister, age 23, married for 4 years, mother of 1 living child, born in Texas as were her parents, works as a Cook for a private family

Big difference in information don’t you think?

But more importantly, why didn’t the Enumerator recognize Carrie or remember counting her already?

Finding ancestors enumerated more than once in census records is not uncommon. In Michael John Neill’s Genealogy Tip of the Day on 22 June 2012, he writes: [3]

Depending on their family and work situation, there is a chance that an ancestor is enumerated more than once in a census. The census was not necessarily always taken “on just one day,” so individuals who moved around the time of the census may have been listed by two enumerators. Individuals who were living in one household and working as domestic help in another may show up in twice–once in each household.”

Clearly the work situation Neill suggest above is not the reason my great-grandmother was enumerated twice in this census. So who do I think gave her information to the Enumerator? My aunt Rose of course! I say that because it appears the only accurate information given for this household in 1910 is about my aunt and her children and about the boarder, Daniel Spryor, who was living there at the time. The only accurate information given to the enumerator about Carrie was that she was married, the mother of 1 living child, and a Cook for a private family. According to family members, my great-grandmother was an AWESOME cook and did in fact work as a cook in the homes of affluent white people for many years. Why this wasn’t reported in the first record I found? I do not know, or maybe she hadn’t started working as a cook when that information was given at the time. But to explore this further, why wasn’t Joseph, her young son, not enumerated with her at this second location if she lived there? If she was married, why wasn’t Lewis her husband enumerated with her at this location as well? Another way to look at this whole scenario is . . . maybe Carrie and Lewis separated. If that is what happened, that would explain why she’s enumerated twice in this census. And . . . if that was the case, where was her son, Joseph? Was he left with his father? Very, very interesting indeed!

Some great information this second 1910 census record provided was that I had no idea that Aunt Rose and her family were living in Houston’s historic Freedmen’s Town in 1910 too! Using Google Maps, I was able to create a visual that not only helped me gain a better perspective as to where they lived in this area of the city, but I was able to see just how close they lived to one another too – 0.3 mi – just 2 – 5 minutes away on foot! [4]

The homes of ancestors Carrie Blanton Chappel and Rose Blanton Williams in 1910

Point A marks the location where  my Great-grandmother Carrie lived with her family at 1609 Saulnier Street. Point B marks the spot where Aunt Rose and her family lived at 1604 Cleveland Street in Houston’s historic Freedmen’s Town in 1910


Even though the location (1609 Saulnier Street) where my great-grandparents lived still exist today (the original 1910 house is gone, but another one very similar to it sits in its place since 1928), aunt Rose’s home is no longer there. Due to gentrification that has taken place in Freedmen’s Town over the past 15-20 years, the location where her home stood has been replatted and a water sprayground called, James Wiley Park, is located there today. This park includes a multi-colored rubber surface, with spray and ground features such as a flower, rainbow, fire hydrant activator, raining buckets, and an in-ground spray fountain. Other amenities include benches, a drinking fountain, and a basketball court (see example of a water sprayground below). [5]


Houston's Water Spraygrounds

Water Sprayground. Photo Credit: Houston Parks and Recreation Department

Have some ancestors who were enumerated twice in census records? Share your thoughts!

Think we have a family connection?
Let me hear from you because  . . . I’m Claiming Kin!

Related Posts:
Mystery Monday: Searching for Lewis Chappel (Part 1)
Blue Monday: A Devastating Loss for Lewis and Carrie Chappel in 1910
Mystery Monday: Searching for Lewis Chappel (Part 2)


Source Citation:

1. “United States Census, 1910,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 09 Apr 2013), Carrie Chapel in entry for Rosa Williams, 1910.

2. “United States Census, 1910,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 29 Mar 2013), Carrie Chappel, Houston Ward 4, Harris, Texas; citing sheet 3B, family 75, NARA microfilm publication T624, FHL microfilm 1375573.

3. Neill, M. J. (2012, June 22). Genealogy Tip of the Day: Enumerated Twice in a Census? [Web log post]. Retrieved April 14, 2013, from

4. Taylor-Harris, L. (2013, April 14). The Homes of Ancestors Carrie (Blanton) Chappel and Rose (Blanton) Williams in 1910 [Google Map]. Retrieved April 14, 2013, from

5. Water Spraygrounds. (n.d.). The City of Houston Houston Parks and Recreation Department. Retrieved April 14, 2013, from


4 thoughts on “Mystery Monday: Enumerated Twice in the 1910 Census?

  1. This post is layed out so very easy to follow with intrique and mystery.

    One of best feature are those hints. and member connections.

    when I’m looking at the US Virgin Islands Census during the the danish period, I noticed many times the children are not listed. Im wondering, well where are the children. Did they just count who was home that day, because I have been told oh they probably was at the school.

    Unfortunately there isnt any reference that I know of that tells you how the census were taken. So then you have to locate the school records. But fortunately with ancestry they do have a summary as to how the census takers enumerated the data; and that is most helpful…


    • Again Shelley, you offer some sage advise here! The idea that enumerators counted only those who were at home at the time has merit. And in this case with Aunt Rose giving all the facts about my great-grandmother to the Enumerator, it is very possible my grandfather (who was school age at the time) was missed in this count because he was attending school.

      I have not been using school census/records often enough in my research. So I’ve just added this resource to my checklist. THANK YOU so much!


  2. Such excellent research–thoroughly analyzed census records, Genealogy Tip, map, picture. One mystery solved (I also like the shaking leaves and what they offer), and another opens.

    Somehow my “gut feeling” is that the discrepancies have more to do with the enumerator, Ida May Ford, or with those who gave her the information, than with life changes for your great-grandmother Carrie. Maybe time passed between the 2 censuses and Ida May forgot or didn’t have her references at hand? Many opportunities for confusion, and in the census-taking situation people don’t get awards for precision, and everything is accepted at face value.

    Maybe, though, your further research will turn up some surprises.

    I’ve also found terrific things through Ancestry’s intuitive search interfaces.


    • I love it when my genea-friends share their “gut feelings” with me about my research. So Mariann I thank you for following along on this journey with me and your instincts about the enumerator and others who offered details about great-grandmother’s life is definitely on point!

      I do look forward to where all this is leading me, that’s for sure — LOL!


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