Census and Residence should be separate event types

I suggest that the event type “Census / Residence” be split into two separate event types. Why? Because a person being enumerated on a census return at a certain place does not necessarily mean they resided there.

Most often people were enumerated at their place of residence, but exceptions to this are not at all uncommon. I can think of many, many exceptions just from my own tree: one great-grandfather is on the 1900 U.S. census in an Army unit in the Philippines, i.e., as part of U.S. forces in the Spanish-American War. Another ancestor of mine closed up her permanent residence after being widowed and traveled between the homes of her several children for the remainder of her life.

The notoriously sloppy 1870 census had an entire second enumeration done in many places. One of my NYC ancestors actually appears four times on the 1870 federal census—on both enumerations he appears once with his wife and children, and once in the residence of his aged mother and stepfather.

Residence events don’t coincide with census years, and can reflect a person’s appearance in any of a range of record types: a deed or other transaction, a probate case, a court record that says John Jacobs of Amesbury gave testimony, etc., etc.

So, currently, my aforementioned Spanish-American War soldier’s enumeration on the 1900 census in the Philippines appears in his timeline as a Residence event, as do all other census enumerations. The distinction between a census enumeration and a residence event is important, and right now it can’t be made in Rootsfinder.

Stated differently . . . all census events are residence events, but not all residence events are census events.

In the case of the the 1900 census, didn’t the soldier or sailor “reside” in the Philippines when the census was taken? In that case, Census/Residence seems exactly the right classification.

In the case of residence events that are not associated with a census, perhaps use the “Other” field at the Type tab to identify an event as Residence. At the People tab, one could also use the drop-down menu to identify additional residence facts. Would either of these options work?:thinking:

Not all census events are residence events. People were quite commonly enumerated somewhere other than where they resided.

Well, kind of… although the census schedule even states that his home state is Indiana, though he is counted in the Philippines. “Census/Residence” may seem right, but on the timeline it just says “Residence.” Also, that’s only one example of several I gave.

That still leaves all Census events displayed in the timeline as Residence events, which they are sometimes not.

How about if I add a separate Census event type, and we’ll call residence events just Residence, instead of Census/Residence?

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Yeah, I think that would be great!

This has been implemented for awhile now. I’m finally marking it closed.

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