Do you ever feel as though your ancestors are playing hide and also seek through you? Do you want to shout: Come out come out wherever before you are!

Maybe they’re not really hiding. Maybe, just probably, you haven’t look in the appropriate area yet.

You are watching: Come out come out wherever you are origin

Ready or not, below I come. I’m so exhausted of this dumb game of hide and seek. Olly olly oxen complimentary. Sexactly how yourself, you’re scaring me. Come out, come out, wright here ever you are. You’ve taken this point method also much. Sonya Sones, Soptimal Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy

Over the many kind of, many kind of years I’ve been trying to find my ancestors, some of them definitely appeared as though they were playing hide and seek through me. But inevitably, in many situations, I’ve found them, regularly hiding in simple sight. It simply takes some out of package reasoning. Here are 5 places I’ve found my surprise ancestors.

Errors Galore

They say that to err is humale and certainly making mistakes transcends history. We’re not perfect. The perkid who transcribed the documents for the database we’re looking wasn’t perfect. The perboy offering the indevelopment wasn’t perfect. The perchild creating the indevelopment dvery own wasn’t perfect. That’s the majority of room for errors!

Transcription Errors

We’ve all checked out them. Glaring and also not so glaring errors in transcriptions on Ancestry, Find My Past, Family Search and any kind of other ancestry search webwebsite you can think of. Hopetotally we’ve added a correction to them for the following researcher however they certain deserve to be frustrating!

In a recent short article on census search methods, I composed around my Brazier family members in the 1851 census wright here the last name of Brazier was transcribed no much less than 3 various methods in the same record!

It can be that your ancestor was enumerated in the census, was baptized or married or hidden, was in the military, yet has been incorrect transcribed in the database you are searching. Check out my short article, census search techniques, to uncover 5 methods to discover your ancestor despite transcription errors. While some of these strategies apply especially to searching census documents, others are applicable to all kinds of records.

Wrong Indevelopment Provided

Sometimes, our ancestors simply provided the wrong information. Perhaps it was an easy error. Perhaps it was also an outideal lie.

In the extremely at an early stage years of my research, I obtained the death certificate for my great-grandmommy, Eliza Taylor nee Turner. On it, her father was detailed as Nathaniel Turner and I spent a lot of time looking for Nathaniel ago in England. <1>“Ontario, Canada Deaths, 1869-1934,” database and imeras on-line, family ( : downloaded picture 7 August 2007), enattempt for Eliza Taylor died 17 Mar 1931; Archives of… Continue reading


At some point, I uncovered Eliza Turner’s birth household and also it turned out that her father’s name was actually Emanuel Turner. <2>England also, Certified Copy of an Enattempt of Birth (long form), Eliza Turner, 1850; General Register Office, London, England. Stourbridge vol 18: 492.

Whether my great-grandmommy, the informant on the fatality certificate, gave the name Emanuel in her solid accent and also the perboy taking the indevelopment heard Nathaniel, or whether she simply gained it wrong, given that her grandfather died 3-years before she was born, I’ll never know yet it definitely had me trying to find someone that just didn’t exist!

Recording Errors

Transcription errors aside, sometimes errors were made at the time indevelopment was recorded in historic documents. Enumerators and also parish clerks were not infallible.

It took some extremely artistic looking to find my great-aunt Florence in the 1911 census in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and I ultimately resorted to brute force searching, scrolling with the documents before I succeeded. <3>Year: 1911; Census Place: 82 – Winnipeg, Winnipeg City, Manitoba; Page: 4; Family No: 34 Not only were tright here transcription errors in the Ancestry database, yet the enumerator appears to have duplicated the information from some other resource, perhaps a record via his or her rough notes, and also has actually shifted information from one resident to one more, making a confmaking use of warm mess of the information.


The enattempt on the picture appears to have been mis-replicated to the develop. Thomas Bond is transcribed as Thomas Bone and is displayed to have actually been born Aug 1876 in Saskatchewan (have to be Jul 1884, England). He is brvarious other to the housekeeper Josephine Downie (transcribed as Josephine How??) and also uncle to Leonard Downie, (transcribed as Leonard Da??). Josephine is displayed as being born Dec 1886 in Ontario instead of Apr 1887 in England. These details are actually shown for the perkid listed below her on the form. Leonard Downie, Josephine’s boy, is shown as being born Feb 1892 in Manitoba. According to the 1916 census, Leonard was born in 1908 in Manitoba.

Anvarious other example of an error in the documents shows up in a narrative I created about my Bond family in the third of a 5 component series dubbed the Bond Family Chronicles on The Social Historian webwebsite. From civil records, I recognize that my great-great-grandmommy gave birth to a daughter Frances in 1845 that passed away at a few weeks of age, but the parish documents have actually that baby detailed as a boy called James. <4>St. John’s Church Preston (Preston, Lancashire, England), Baptisms, p. 125, James Bond, child of Thomas and also Alice Bond, actually Frances Bond, daughter of Thomas and Alice Bond; FHL microfilm… Continue reading

Baby Frances was born 7 September 1845 however within 2 weeks, had arisen a deadly instance of diarrhea and Thomas and Alice raced to make arrangements for a baptism at St. John’s Church in Preston. Baby Frances was baptised on 21 September in a hurried ceremony. Her baptism was recorded in the registers as being for “James Bond” however regardmuch less of the mistake, Thomas and also Alice have to have been relieved that the baptism was in time. The baby ongoing to undermine and on 24 September, she died quietly in the Pleasant Street home, via her father in attendance.Bond Family Chronicles Chapter Three: The Catholic and the Anglican


Sometimes, our ancestors just seem to disappear, poof. They are born, appear in a couple of records and also then they are gone, and become one of the disshowed up, presumably abducted by aliens.

But possibly tright here are no aliens connected. Maybe they simply emigrated to another nation.

Such was the instance via John Bulmer, my third great-uncle. John was one of the fourteen children of my four-times great-grandparental fees, Thomas and also Mary Bulmer. Through many kind of years of research study, I had actually unspanned all of their children’s stories, all except John. He was born in 1823 and appeared through the family members on their farm in the Yorkshire Dales in the 1841 census as soon as he was 18-years-old. Ten years later on, he had left the farm and was functioning as a butcher’s apprtempt in the nearby town of Bradford. And then, nothing. Try as I can, I can uncover no various other map of John. When John’s father, Thomas, died in 1866, and mentioned John in his will certainly, the wording made it clear that even the family didn’t recognize wbelow John was. At some point, I conceded to temporary defeat and posted him among the Many Wanted on my website.

A few years later on, I received an email out of the blue from a researcher in Australia informing me that he was the great-great-great-grandchild of John Bulmer. John was found! It appears that soon after 1851, John had actually left Yorkshire for Australia wbelow he married and increased a household, a opportunity that I had thought about briefly yet hadn’t put a lot time into relooking.

In a comparable story, I looked for many type of years for Florence Ethel Williams, the daughter of my great-aunt Laura Williams. Ultimately, after many type of fruitmuch less searches, I made her the topic of a crowd-sourcing experiment. Finally, a couple of years later on, a descendent of Florence’s saw my plea somewbelow and also reached out to me. I found that Florence had emigrated to Montactual, Canada in 1905 at the age of 19, married, had actually a household, and also then moved to the United States in around 1924.

The Name Game

A Rose by any kind of various other name… could be a Rosa, Rosalie, Rosina, Rosaria, Rosie, Rosanna, Roseanne, or Rosamunde. Our ancestors occasionally readjusted their names or showed up under nicknames or diminutives of their name or their middle name. They were frequently illiteprice as well, and also spelling was optional.

Nicknames and also Middle Names

My third-great-grandmother, Cordelia Esther Birch, led me on a merry chase for fairly some time, seemingly changing her name on eincredibly document, perhaps to thwart my research centuries later on.

She was baptized Cordelia Esther Birch at St. Mary’s Church in Lancaster, Lancs in 1791. The next record I have actually of her is of her marital relationship to Thomas Bond where she appears as Esther Birch in 1822 in Prestwich, Lancs. Thomas died only two years later and also Cordelia married John Haywood at the Manchester Cathedral in 1825. Tright here, she gave her name as Daley Bond. She moved to Kirkham, Lancs after that, and also appeared in the 1841 census as Delia Haywood. In 1851, she was still in Kirkham, this time listed as Deliah Heywood. in 1861, she went back to her baptismal forename, Cordelia Esther Haywood, still living in Kirkham. In 1871, she is living through her boy, provided as Cordelia Heylumber, the exact same name that finally showed up on her fatality certificate in 1874. I discovered these records by searching via wildcards (H?ywood), by simply leaving out her initially name in searches and also by looking variations and also diminutives of the name Cordelia.


These days, it is incredibly common, pardon the pun, for couples to live together in a common-regulation relationship, fairly than marrying. We tend to think of this as somepoint that our generation created, yet tright here was a lot even more of it going on in our ancestors’ days than we might think. When you can’t find your female ancestor in the documents, take into consideration that she can have been shacking-up via a male and offered her last name as his for the sake of appearances.

This was the situation via my great-grandmom Jessie, who I have been researching for dozens of years. In my many recent breakvia, I finally found the passenger record wright here she involved Canada after many kind of years of painstaking, fruitmuch less searches. It turned out that she was travelling with a guy by the name of Timothy O’Sullivan, which ironically turned out to an assumed name as well! They were not married at the moment of their voyage, but did tie the knot in Montreal two years later on. Just to make things even more complicated, the Montreal marriage record mirrors Timothy’s genuine name, Timothy O’Hare. You can check out all about my exploration in my post Mystery in Montactual.

See more: Which Term Is Defined As The Capacity To Do Work? Energy Definition And Examples


There are many factors why your ancestor can appear under their initials and also last name, quite than their full name on census records so if they are proving elusive, always offer this progressed search option a try. In some databases, you will have to enter their initially name as initials, yet in Ancestry’s search you will uncover an choice to incorporate initials under ‘exact’ in the search box.