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


Tech Tuesday: Relative History, the First Genealogy App for the Windows Phone Platform

Relative History AppWhen I wanted to go “mobile” with my family research earlier this year, I was a bit frustrated by the fact that most, if not all, of the popular genealogy apps available were developed mainly for iPad/iPhone, and Android devices. As a result, me and my wonderful Windows Phone were left out in the cold . . . that is until Relative History by Papillon Productions —  the first genealogy application available for Windows Phone Platform — was born!

So what are my thoughts about Relative History?


– I like how my list of ancestors utilizes the same layout as the Contacts app on my Windows Phone. By default, surnames are displayed in alpha-order. But I can change how they’re displayed  from the “settings screen” found on the home screen of the app

Relative History v1.2.0.4
– Tap on any ancestor and more details about them (i.e.  links to parents, children, events, etc) will display

– There’s a Source screen where you’re able to see which sources have been referenced in your research.

– This app supports JPEG, PNG, and TIFF images and can link to scanned documents and photographs of individuals.

– Depending on the information provided for events, this app may be able to display the location of the event. If it can, a map will appear. Tap the map and it will connect you to a full map app that opens with directions to the event site in your GEDCOM file!

Relative History v1.2.0.4
– I currently don’t have any music and video files in my GEDCOM. But if I did, I understand that these files are opened with the phone’s media player (so all formats supported by the phone can be played). Web pages are opened in the phone’s browser.


– This current version is for browsing only

Overall, my experience with this app has been a very good one and I feel positive that my use of it will only get better. But what I’ve enjoyed most has been the excellent product support I’ve received from its developer, Philip Colmer. This post about Relative History would not be complete if I didn’t tell you more about the man that’s making Genealogy-on-the-GO possible for Windows phone users!

Q: Who is Philip Colmer? Where is Papillon Productions located and how long has this business been in existence?

My wife & I enjoy photography and we created Papillon Pictures as a means of selling photos through iStockPhoto and as a business for wedding photography & videography. When I decided I wanted to write an app for Windows Phone, it seemed like a logical progression to create Papillon Productions. So I am, in essence, Papillon Productions. We’re based in the UK, just outside of Cambridge. The business has been in existence since the end of 2011 – I started it specifically with the purpose of creating genealogy software for the Windows Phone and Windows 8 platforms.

Q: How did the creation of Relative History come about?

Relative History was born out of two parts – my desire to write software for Windows Phone and the identification of a gap in the Windows Phone apps. To date, Relative History is the only app for Windows Phone that allows the user to navigate through genealogy information.

Both my wife & I are very interested in genealogy – I became interested primarily when my father died about 10 years ago. It sometimes takes an event like that to help you realise that as family members die, so does their own knowledge of the past. Census and BMD records can only tell you so much. Oral and written history is often required to fill in the gaps. My wife, with her Welsh heritage, has always been interested in genealogy. The Welsh have a tradition of using the family bible to record family events and relationships between different family members, so she has had a lot of family history in her head as she has grown up. She has taken on the primary role of pulling together the genealogy information for both our families and she uses a well-known and popular application for Windows, but she doesn’t find it intuitive, to use one of her favourite words! In deciding to write Relative History, I aimed to correct that and create an app for both the phone and larger devices that is intuitive and logical to use.

Q: Relative History is an EXCELLENT name for this application. Who came up with the name?

The name of the app came about when I was looking at the names of the products already on the market and trying to pick one that didn’t clash. To be honest, it was just a moment of inspiration. I love the fact that – in English at least – it can have two meanings. I’m not sure if that works so well in other languages as the word “relative” might be different words depending on the meaning.

Q: How long did it take to create this app and how many versions of it exist today? Are there plans to launch any other applications and versions in the near future?

The app took about 8 months to write. I work full-time so this is, to a large degree, a hobby for me. I mostly try to code at weekends and sometimes at evenings. There is only the one version for Windows Phone 7 at the moment but I have started work on a version for the Windows Store (i.e. for Windows 8). The current app works on Windows Phone 8 as well but I may make some small changes to the app just to take advantage of the simpler new features such as being able to restart the app where you were last using it. The intention is that the Windows 8 version will be the first version to provide a full editing experience. I’m not yet sure how much functionality there will be in the initial release and how much I’ll hold back to later versions. Regardless of that, though, once that version is released, it is my intention to write a new version for the Phone platform (hopefully for both Windows Phone 7 & 8) that then also provides editing capability and data exchange with the “big brother” version of the app.

It is worth explaining why the current app doesn’t allow editing. The app uses a database on the phone to store the contents of the GEDCOM file. It has always been my plan to have apps on both the phone and on the PC, with data exchange between them. However, Windows 8 does not support the same database platform as Window Phone 7, so I’ve had to choose a different database technology for the Windows 8 app. This means that you cannot take the database files & exchange them. So that, in turn, is why the version of the Phone app that supports editing needs to wait until the Windows 8 app is finished.

 The reason why I’ve taken this approach and not enhanced the phone app to allow editing & then export of the GEDCOM file is because, for most people, GEDCOM files are generally “lossy”. What I mean by that is that each application that exports GEDCOM tends to do it slightly differently to another application. Furthermore, some applications provide features and functionality that don’t actually map onto a GEDCOM structure, so you end up with an exported file that may not contain all of the information.

 When the apps allow editing, they will also have the functionality to export to a GEDCOM file, but that will not be the primary method for sharing the database between the different Relative History apps. I hope that makes sense!

Q: I connected with you via Facebook and truly appreciate your assistance with getting my GEDCOM installed via the free beta version I downloaded from the Windows Phone Store . How and where did you find beta testers for your app?

I initially sought out beta testers by using Twitter and contacting a number of Windows Phone related sites. They then “retweeted” my request and I got about 5 testers that way. Unfortunately, none of them gave me any feedback. Instead, what I’ve been doing recently is building up a core group of people who have contacted me because of problems and I’ve then been working with their GEDCOM files to resolve the issues & get them to test the fixes. Some of them have also been kind enough to suggest improvements – something I always welcome.

Q: Is there an official Papillon Productions website URL where everyone interested in this app can learn more about it and connect with you?

The main URL is the Facebook one, which is

Visit the Windows Phone Store to buy or learn more about Relative History today!

Was April 2012 a great month for genealogists?

Month of AprilWas April 2012 a great month for genealogists? I truly believe it was! If nothing else, it was one of the BEST and most EXCITING months for me in the world of genealogy!

It began with the most anticipated genealogical event to date — the release of the 1940 United States Census on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 9 AM sharp Eastern Standard Time! Despite the overloaded databases the first few hours and days by so many genealogists trying to access these records, I’ve been able to successfully search the census records and find new and existing family members, as well as, identify those who went MIA in earlier records. But more importantly, these records have given me some great insight into how much my family and America has changed since the 1940s!

Next, Family History Expo 2012 rolled into H-town. With sessions like — “New Avenues in Genetic Genealogy,” “Google Earth for Genealogy – Rock Your Ancestor’s World,” and “The Challenges of Genealogical Research in Ghana” to name a few (you can see other sessions I attended via my online conference directory at, I came away with some excellent research techniques and best practices that will certainly enhance the accuracy of my genealogical investigation and much more.

Last, but certainly not least, the results of my genetic DNA test are in– woo-hoo! That’s right! The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) test that I ordered from Family Tree DNA during the first quarter of this year is back and I look forward to sharing those results with you in the coming weeks. Now, take one look at me and my family tree and it doesn’t take a genius to know that my ancestral origins are in Africa. But knowing more about the geographical region and the possible subculture groups that make up my ancestry is what makes genealogy via DNA so fascinating!

So . . . do you think April 2012 was a great month for genealogists? How successful were you in locating your ancestors in the 1940 Census when they were released last month? Have you tried DNA testing yet? What other genealogy activities did you delve into the month of April 2012? Share your thoughts with me!

Road Trip: Clayton Library, Center for Genealogical Research

Photo Credit: Susan D. Kaufman

My road trip this quarter (on 20 August 2011 to be exact) was to join other family historians for an orientation of the fourth largest genealogy library in the United States — the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research.

Let me say that this wasn’t my first visit to the Clayton Library. Before United States census records became searchable online, I used this library’s census records and microfilm readers whenever I was in H-town visiting family and following up on research leads. So this orientation gave me an opportunity to gain a better understanding on how to use the vast resources and research materials housed at this facility. After a couple of hours in this place,  I totally understand why Family Tree Magazine named it, “one of the 9 genealogy libraries you need to visit before you die (July 2008).”

So what are some of the resources available to genealogists at the Clayton Library? WHEW . . . LOTS!  What began as a separate collection at the Houston Public Library in 1921, is now one of the best genealogical libraries in the United States! With regards to the library’s collection, genealogist will find:

  • census records for all states on microfilm from 1790-1930
  • Soundex/Miracode indexes for 1880, 1900-1920, and some 1930
  • city directories
  • birth and death indexes
  • estate records
  • deeds
  • wills
  • newspapers
  • handbooks
  • guides
  • databases

Their Notable Collections consist of:

  • the Draper Manuscript Collection, with guides
  • a substantial collection of Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations on microfilm
  • one of the largest microfilmed collections in the country of the Papeles Procedentes de Cuba (Cuban Papers)
  • a collection of documents generated by the Spanish government for the Mississippi Valley, Gulf Coast, and East and West Florida

To learn more about the various resources available at this library, feel free to download the Clayton Library Collection Summary Sheet I have linked below:
Clayton Library Collection Summary

View a video of the Clayton House!

Just across the driveway from the main library building is the Clayton House, a three story Georgian style home that was built in 1916. This house was the home of businessman and statesman, William Clayton and his wife Susan Ada Vaughn Clayton, until 1958. Then it was deeded to the City of Houston for library purposes. As the Houston Public Library’s genealogy collection grew, it was eventually moved to the Clayton House, which was located in Houston’s historic Museum District at 5300 Caroline Street in 1968. Once the main building was completed in 1988, the library’s entire collection was moved there and is where it remains today. Now that renovations of the Clayton House is complete, it’s open to the public and is a partner of the Family History Library (FHL) of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) in Salt Lake City. Clayton Library users are able to order microfilm and other materials directly from the Family History Library and view them on-site at the Clayton Library.

Library Hours are:

M Closed | T 10-6 | W 10-8 | Th 10-6 | F 10-5 | Sa 10-5 | Su Closed

Ancestry is the world’s largest online resource for family history, with more than one million paying subscribers around the world as of December 2009.

Yep, I’m officially a paid subscriber!

I must say that my decision to use this paid service was a very smart move on my part because just entering a few family members for the past two weeks via their digital proprietary systems, have yielded some great information about relatives that would have taken me much longer to find if I was doing it via my paper-based research method.

So in 2011 I will blog about my genealogical journey with and other online resources I use to shake down my family tree. So if you are an user, connect with me and let me know your thoughts about this software and how your family research is going!