1910 Census & the “Bridgets of Malheur County”

This came in an Ancestry Weekly Discovery newsletter – too funny!

(from “Overcoming Census Challenges” by Julianna Smith.  Read the whole article here for some good tips.)

“When Marilyn Barnett Daniels posted a recent discovery in the 1910 U.S. Census on the Ancestry.com Facebook page, I was intrigued. In browsing that census of Oregon, Malheur County, ED 91 (Owyhee, Township 20, and Township 21) she noticed that every “wife” in that district was listed with the given name Bridget.

I had to see for myself and sure enough, there it was. The districts had been enumerated by Harry F. Lackey who also lived in the county. Harry, Harry, Harry, what were you thinking? (As I looked through the district, I could swear I heard him laughing.)

Was he smitten with someone named Bridget? Or perhaps he wanted to ensure that he would never again be hired as census taker? (Hopefully it was the latter.) While Harry’s reasons will likely remain a mystery, the Bridgets of Malheur County will likely have family historians with ancestors in the area in 1910 scratching their heads for generations.”

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