Here’s a riddle for the forum. I have the below family in my tree: George KEENUM b. 1782 in VA, son of James Keenum and Elizabeth Dale MASON, m. Elizabeth STONE (daughter of Stephen Turner Stone and Bathsheba HURT) 24 January 1814 in Henry Co., VA, d. 16 August 1850 in Decatur, Meigs Co., TN, had the following children: Stephen S. Keenum born 12 December 1814 Millie Keenum born 29 June 1816 Barsheba Keenum born 12 March 1818 Berry Keenum born 17 October 1820 Winnie Keenum born 29 July 1825 Susan Stone Keenum born 8 March 1826 in Decatur, Meigs Co., TN Mary Keenum born ca. 1829 Susan Stone Keenum is my ancestor. However I am also interested in Stephen S. Keenum. There is a Stephen S. Keenam in Walker Co., GA on the 1850 census, with the following household: Stephen S. Keenam, 33, b. VA Polly, 32, b. SC Joel, 12 b. TN Milton, 10, b. GA Elias, 8, b. GA Augustus, 6, b. GA Sally, 4, b. GA George, 1, b. GA This census was conducted on Sept. 19th, 1850. BUT there is also a Stephen S. Keenum in Dekalb Co. on the same census, with the following household: Stephen S. Keenum, 37, farmer, b. VA Mary, 32, b. SC Joel T., 12, b. TN Berry M., 11, b. GA Elias E., 9, b. GA Augustus G., 5, b. GA Elizabeth, 3, b. GA George, 1, b. GA That census was conducted on Dec 25, 1850. Do you think it&’s possible that the same family was surveyed twice? How else to explain the same names and very close ages? I am baffled and confused and don’t know which to use. Thanks in advance, Brookes
Re: Keenum family
Yes, it probably is the same family. I have found this happening many times in researching the families of DeKalb Co AL. The country in northeast Alabama and northwest Georgia are very much the same and without GPS it is difficult to tell where one state or county ends and another begins. In fact I spoke with a lady who grew up on the stateline, and depending what room of her house she was in, there was an hours difference, eastern or centrel or as they say around here fast time or slow time. I found that DeKalb Co Al, Cherokee Co AL, Dade Co Ga, Walker Co GA and Chattooga Co GA, shared families. Use both census. The more you study the census the more you find that the census takers added their preferences, like Polly for Mary, or Salley for Elizabeth. Also, their math wasn’t real good. Add to the mix the hand writing, well, sometimes you just have to keep the faith, compare years to get a reasonable birth year. A head stone date is the best.
Re: Keenum family
Thanks for your reply and the info about Dekalb Walker counties. If these were different census years I would take it for granted that this is the same family, at least, it seems obvious to me that the slightly different names are just from different enumerators, but is it possible for the same family to be surveyed twice in the same year? I guess that’s my biggest source of confusion.
Re: Keenum family
Do not rule out the fact that the family may have relocated or moved between the counties. I won’t start into telling any stories, but take this scenario for example: Stephen was a coal worker or similar in Georgia, then moved to Alabama where farming grounds were richer and more suitable for farming, he starts into the farming industry in Alabama after a relocation. This would make it possible for the same household to be surveyed twice. Once in Georgia, once in Alabama. As I stated, this is just pure speculation, but is very possible.