Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Messing With the Census Taker?

Crosen Family, Gainsboro, VA, 1930 Census
Meet the Crosen (Croser?) family: dad Utah, mom Rhode Island, and the kids: Vermont, Virginia, Minnesota, Georgia, Maryland, Florida, Montana, Kansas, and Tennessee.

I do not doubt that a couple would name their nine children after states. The census is full of people named after states. I was, however, skeptical about the chances of a man named Utah and a woman named Rhode Island finding one another. Stranger things have happened, but I wondered whether this family might have been having some fun with the census taker.

Then, I found them in the 1920 Census, too. If it was a joke, it was a long-running and well-maintained gag.
Crosen Family, Gainsboro, VA, 1920 Census
A final question: how does one decide that Montana is a masculine name, while Tennessee is feminine?


Robert J. said...

I can't post a book clip in the comments, but Lemuel Shattuck's remarks on Europe, Asia, Africa, and America Shattuck of Brookline is one of the great footnotes in the history of American genealogy. You could make it a post of its own perhaps?


Heather Wilkinson Rojo said...

And what about Samuel Draper who died in Boston in 1767, and named his four sons: Newburyport, New York, Boston and James. ("Drapers in America" published 1892) Samuel was obviously a captain of a ship.