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08-05-2015, 00:39   #1
OU812
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How accurate are Census ages ?

I've just today come into two families, one 1901 & one 1911 who are on both of my parents sides of the family.

The ages are slightly off in both of them compared with what I had before (locations also).

However, there's several names in both which I have and the ages while appearing incorrect are almost the right amount of years apart.

Would it be common for the ages to be off ?

For example, in one of them, my GG Grandfather is listed as being 42 in 1901 therefore, born in 1859. I know he died on the 24th April 1916 - yes, *that* date (shot through the throat). Which puts him at 57 at death.

However a medical report from his job in 1915 has his stated age at 50 & his death certificate has him listed at 60
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08-05-2015, 00:42   #2
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They're not. Basically anyway

People didn't know, people lied, people aged themselves up for pension purposes, etc, etc. I've women in my tree who "aged" three years in ten and older people who aged 15.
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08-05-2015, 00:55   #3
OU812
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So is the best bet to now go looking for birth certs ?

These two families have given me a huge amount of detail, I'm 90% sure they're correct & I'm lucky in that in one of them is three generations, which has given me a massive jump back to 1824
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08-05-2015, 01:03   #4
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Birth and/or baptism records are definitely where to go to next, if you're unsure on census ages. They're of value anyway due to the other info on them.
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08-05-2015, 03:13   #5
Coolnabacky1873
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Originally Posted by OU812 View Post
So is the best bet to now go looking for birth certs ?
No birth certs before 1864 so you will need to focus on Church baptisms.
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08-05-2015, 08:38   #6
OU812
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No birth certs before 1864 so you will need to focus on Church baptisms.
Well this just took a turn for the impossible...
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08-05-2015, 09:53   #7
pinkypinky
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Have you read our sticky? It might answer some of your basic questions.

http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showt...p?t=2056388162
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08-05-2015, 22:12   #8
OU812
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Does anyone know what dates the 1901 & 1911 Census were taken ? It'd help me tie down a couple of DOBs.

Thanks
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08-05-2015, 22:20   #9
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Census date is mentioned on the household forms - 31 March 1901 and 2nd April 1911

p.s. the ages for your Dargans on the two census returns are all over the map - young children age roughly correctly, but teenagers and adults dont come close to being consistent.
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08-05-2015, 22:22   #10
 
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Yeah I noticed the same in my own family tree.

One situation was to hide an underage pregnancy I believe.
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08-05-2015, 22:26   #11
OU812
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Originally Posted by shanew View Post
Census date is mentioned on the household forms - 31 March 1901 and 2nd April 1911

p.s. the ages for your Dargans on the two census returns are all over the map - young children age roughly correctly, but teenagers and adults dont come close to being consistent.
That seems to be consistent through the families. There's a difference of +/- 10 years in a lot of them.

In one case I have the DOB, age stays consistent in the first census, then by the second he's gained seven years, I have an employment record where he's de-aged 10 years & on his death cert, he's aged + 6 years again
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13-05-2015, 03:49   #12
desbrook
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There's a stigma about wives being older hence they take off a few years to make themselves younger than their husbands I've noticed .
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13-05-2015, 11:51   #13
 
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But we don't do that these days so future genealogists won't have the same problem thankfully!
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13-05-2015, 12:27   #14
pinkypinky
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I must remember next year to scan a blank and filled in copy of my own census return for records.

We ask "date of birth" now so accuracy should be better.
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02-06-2015, 19:03   #15
Eve222
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The ages in the census had me confused for a while. A family member in the 1901 census put his age as 56, in 1911 it was 70. At first I couldn't find his baptismal record anywhere, then I had found baptismal records I believed to be his and his siblings, but couldn't be sure because of the two ages in the census. I went back to have another look at 1911 and saw something I had missed. In the original he gave 70 and the months, it matched the baptismal record I had for him. So it pulled everything together for me.
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