Why wouldn’t I be able to find my Great-Great grandfather in any...

Why wouldn’t I be able to find my Great-Great grandfather in any records besides the 1880 and 1920 census?

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My great-great grandfather was born in Tennessee in 1850, I have been able to locate him and my great-great grandmother in only the 1880 and 1920 census. I have also pored through countless, birth, marriage and death records to no avail. Would there be any reasons why I would not be able to locate him in any other documents?


  1. If you post their names here, someone will come along to help.

    There are lots of people here who love to help and are good researchers.

    I have had missing relatives too, and sometimes it takes creative searching or another set of eyes.

  2. It is possible – not sure, but possible – he is hiding in 1860, 1870, 1900 and 1910, and you can find him with a trick or two. I have a fairly long account of my hunt through the censuses for a family named "Ede". It has the lessons I’ve learned about finding people on the census. Some of them may help you. I’ve found 1870 and 1910 are the toughest years to find people in.


    As an example, and using Henry Moneybrake and his wife Catherine instead of the Edes, I found them in 1880 after trying:

    1) Henry Monebrake
    2) Henry Moneybrake
    3) Catharine Monebrake
    4) Catharine Moneybrake
    5) Henry Monebraker
    6) Henry Moneybraker
    7) Catharine Monebraker
    8) Catharine Moneybraker
    9) Monebroke
    10) Moneybroke
    11) Monebroker
    12) Moneybroke
    13) Moneybroker
    14) All Catharine (regardless of surname) in Ohio with birth year 1800 – 1820 and head of household Henry
    15) All Henrys in Preble county born in Germany 1800 – 1820

    My 16th try was any Catherine in Preble County (regardless of surname) born in Germany 1800 – 1820. I found them in Washington Twp, Preble, Ohio:

    (Name, Relation, Marital Status, Gender, Race, Age, Birthplace, Occupation, Father’s Birthplace, Mother’s Birthplace)

    Harry Monnebraker, self, M, Male, W, 74, Pr, Farmer, Pr, Pr,
    Catherine Monnebraker, wife, M, Female, W, 64, Ger, Keeping House, Ger, Ger

  3. If you give me the information I can look for it for you I have done genealogy for 3 years now and found over 2500 relatives of mine. I would be happy to help. Some times records were lost because of disasters like a fire at the court houses.Or no one was home at the time the census was taken back then they would make another trip because of the distants between houses also some people didn’t want to give out their information.

  4. Records get lost over time, and they just might have lived outside the country at the census times.

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