Patricia Craig Johnson --- Searching for My Ancestors --- Sharing My Life Stories

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Friday, October 12, 2007

How Old Is Thomas Sankey?

Hmmm. When I began to study my 5th great grandfather, Thomas Sankey, I discovered something I had missed previously. His tombstone in Mt Pleasant Cemetery in Vigo Co Indiana very clearly states that he was born 22 December 1764 and he died 23 December 1858. I, along with hundreds of other descendants have always accepted this birth date as "gospel". However, when reviewing the material I have about Thomas I noticed that he says on the 1850 census that he was age 80. If he were born in 1764 he would be age 86. I looked back on previous censuses and see that he is always listed in the age bracket that defies the 1764 birth date.

My next study is going to be of the censuses involved and determine, if I can, when Thomas was born. You may ask why it would make that much difference? Because his father married Jane Scott 15 March 1770. If I find that Thomas was born December 1770 it means he is her son, not a previous wife as thought by others.

Lesson in point? Tombstones can be wrong, death certificates can be wrong, censuses can be wrong. It makes this field of genealogy that much more of a challenge.

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