HomeFun!Genealogy Mystery Theater: Addressing Identities

Merry Christmas everyone! I thought I’d try something new tonight. Once the presents are all unwrapped, the guests gone, and your belly full, I have a game we can play. You know those murder mystery theater things– ones where the audience gets to play along and guess the killer? That’s the idea here, only with genealogy mysteries. Hopefully a few of you will join in and play along. If there’s a good response, I’ll try and make this a regular feature and post pieces of problems that are common to research we all do. The level is beginning/intermediate, but anyone is welcome to join in!

What will you need to play along? For this mystery, you’ll probably need access to Ancestry.com and/or Fold3.com. I’ll give you one record and a problem to solve, and you’re all on your own to try and come up with a solution. Once you think you’ve got the answer, leave it in a comment along with a brief summary of why your answer is the correct one. If you don’t want to know the answer – or at least what someone else thinks is the answer – don’t look at the comments 🙂

Without further adieu, I present:

Addressing Identities- A Genealogy Mystery

Below is the 1850 New York, New York census record for John Cassidy and family.1 (Click for full size).

Of course, the 1850 census doesn’t record street addresses, but it’s interesting to know where our ancestors lived. More importantly, it’s also an important tool to sort out people of the same name. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to determine as accurately as possible the address where this Cassidy family resided. You may need to scroll a few pages backwards and forwards in the census to get your bearings. You can access the page on Ancestry here. Good luck! Bonus question: Which direction was the enumerator moving?


Did you find this interesting? Let me know your thoughts!

  1. 1850 U.S. census, New York, New York, population schedule, New York, dwelling 164, family 467, John Cassidy household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 Sep 2012); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M432. []

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