Would you correct it?…

My great grandfather died in 1920 of TB. He left a wife, who had two daughters before they married and three more by him. She later remarried and had another child. She died in 1928, leaving behind 6 children. The oldest two girls lived with grandfather, as did the baby, but the middle three went to the state orphanage. In 1930, my grandmother was 12 years old, and I envision her being a lot like #3 in personality, quiet, shy, awkward as the teen years were starting without her having a mother to lead her. On the 1930 census, she is enumerated as 12 year old Lela, though her name was Leona. I am pretty sure it is her, but of course, I have no proof. The census clearly reads Lela.

I wonder how scary it must have been for a 12 year old to give a strange person her name, so she could be enumerated with the other orphans. She’d only been in the orphanage a little over a year, and probably hadn’t gotten over her mother’s death. She probably missed her siblings, since her older sisters weren’t there at all, her twin brother and baby sister were housed in different dormitories and her baby brother wasn’t around at all. Did the children give their names, or did the orphanage? It’s possible that the dorm mother gave the name of the kids, which would explain the wrong name. Was she called Lela despite it not being her name, by a woman who didn’t care to learn the childrens’ names? Or did the census taker just make a mistake, figuring what difference did it make if an orphan was enumerated incorrectly?

The fact that she is a full year younger than her twin brother is further proof that my great grandmother lied about his age to get him into the home a year before her death when he became hurt after a fall out of a barn. With no birth certificate, she was the only proof of age the children had. That and my great great grandmother’s family Bible that wasn’t used, because it had the correct dates of birth.

So would you leave the index as Lela, since that is clearly the name on the census, or would you send in the correct name assuming the young girl that is enumerated is incorrectly enumerated under the wrong name?


2 thoughts on “Would you correct it?…

  1. If you’re 100% certain Lela is actually Leona, I’d correct it…imagine someone doing this 100 years from now and not having all the data you’ve collected…they might not make the connection.

  2. Not a 100%, but 98.9%. She is the only girl that has the correct age and last name. And the names are too close to be a coincidence. And my grandmother, even at 60 would not have corrected you if you had misunderstood her, so I can’t see her doing it at twelve. So I am pretty sure it’s her.

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