[APG Public List] Newborn Given Temporary Name?

Linda Johnson lindajohnsongenealogy at yahoo.com
Sat Jul 31 15:16:53 MDT 2010

Hello, Donna,

Have you considered the possibility that John and William Albert were twins, that the census taker somehow failed to record both of them, and that John might have died as an infant or young child? I'd check church, cemetery, and newspaper records of the area where the family lived in 1880 for any indication that any or all of those possibilities might be true. Depending on where the family lived, the local newspaper might have included a birth notice in a "Local Happenings" type of column or used it as filler (likely without a headline) between larger articles.

Good luck!

Linda Johnson,

> ------------------------------
> Message: 2
> Date: Sat, 31 Jul 2010 11:59:13 -0500
> From: "Donna McR" <donna316 at tx.rr.com>
> Subject: [APG Public List] Newborn Given Temporary Name?
> To: "APG Assn of Prof Genealogists" <apgpubliclist at apgen.org>
> Message-ID:
> <4816C9B1A20D4C2C928F742954DAC802 at DonnaHomePC>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
> Hello Friends------
> I often come across a baby recorded as "Nameless" in
> censuses.  I realize the reasons for doing this.
> This situation is not "Nameless," but I think it may be
> something akin.
> The 1880 census of the household of Frank and Sallie Fuller
> [names changed for privacy] records a baby named John Fuller
> as born May 1880.
> A John Fuller of this age never appears again, as far as I
> can tell from a thorough census search and search of other
> family documents.
> I need to determine reasonably that William Albert Fuller,
> also born in May 1880 according to his tombstone, is the son
> of the couple above.  His parents' will and probate are
> not available, and their 1900 census is nowhere to be found
> (even after a thorough, downright obsessive
> search---definitely exhaustive).
> In the 1880 census also appears Lena Fuller.  In 1910,
> I find William Albert (and wife) in the next dwelling listed
> after Lena, and a known brother to Lena recorded two
> dwellings down.
> I have scoured the census of 1880 for another baby named
> William Fuller and find none that matches.  I have
> considered that William Albert Fuller may have been adopted
> from outside the family and even re-named, but I find no
> other male child born that month and year in the county or
> surrounding counties.
> A file on the extended family held by the local
> genealogical society lists William Albert as Frank and
> Sallie's son, does not mention a birth for John Fuller, and
> makes no note of adoption (although the creator of the list
> might have just omitted that).
> I have also looked for a William of the right age living
> with other family members in the counties and state from
> which they came.  No William there.
> The infant John Fuller is recorded in this 1880 census as
> having been born in May 1880.  William Albert Fuller
> was born 25 May 1880.  The census was taken 2 June
> 1880.
> This infant's grandfather was named John, and there were
> many in the extended family named John, although this
> particular couple never had another child named John.
> For William Albert Fuller to be the biological son of Frank
> and Sallie, they would have to have changed his name from
> John Fuller to William Albert Fuller----or given the
> eight-days-old baby a temporary name to satisfy the census
> taker.
> Do you know of cases when the parents just gave a child a
> temporary name for such a record as a census taken a few
> days after the child was born?
> Warmest Regards,
> Donna


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