Scotch-Irish-L Archives

Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 1998-02 > 0886579703

From: <>
Subject: Re: McSweeney (sp?)
Date: Wed, 4 Feb 1998 03:08:23 EST

I forgot to send this reply to all and since there are some new researchers on
the list thought they may find this helpful.

first) if the source is the original census taken by the census taker the most
frequent reason for the error is the census taker did not understand due to a
brogue or accent the person providing the information had. Example 1860 NY
census showed McGinnis rather than McManus and the oldest son was shown as a
girl since the wife who was Welsh could barely speak English and the census
taker did not get it straight.

second) in some censuses in some places the census taker took the information
and gave it to a transcriber who then entered it into a master book. There
have been some erros here when the transcriber accidentally combined two lines
(such as surname from one with family from the next) this is rare but has

third) if this is an extraction the person doing the extraction did not
understand the name or could not read it clearly and misinterpreted it.
Example: Tackaberry in NY came out as Zachary. In the family deliniation it
did look more like Zachary than Tackabery or at least was hard to read but in
the agriculture part for the same year it was clearly Tackabery. Since the
extractor was not looking for Tackabery like I was they did not go to the
agricultural part and did not discover the error.

As far as Ireland versus England in the census: it would depend on how the
question was asked and also what the census taker understood. Many times
Ireland and Wales were listed as England when the question was relating to who
you own allegiance or who is ruler. This same thing happened on passenger
ships. Also sometimes it was sometimes asked as where did you immigrate from
and as many Irish immigrants came via England then England was used.

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