Saturday, May 19, 2007

1925 Iowa State Census is golden

Three pages of questions include name of parents

It pays to read other bloggers' reports of research breakthroughs. This morning Michael John Neill described progress he made on the 1856 Iowa State Census with his ancestor Ira Sargent. Michael's success prompted Ol' Myrt here to look at ancestors on her maternal side of the family tree that were known to have lived in Iowa. Here are the steps I took (the first with dead-end results) and what I ultimately found to be of great interest.

  1. I set my browser to and typed "Ferd" then "Goering" (without the quote marks) in the first and last name search fields.
  2. I specified "Iowa" for the place & pressed Enter on my keyboard.
The return was a link to a Family File with Ferd, his wife Nancy Jane Swanker, and his birth and death date and place. I consider this very unreliable info because it does not involve the scanned image of an original document. I should note that from my other research, the names, dates and places are correct, but a competent researcher would not accept this hearsay source as the gospel truth without fortifying the find with corroborative evidence with compellingly convincing surviving original documents.


  1. I began to search on the wife's name and typed "Nancy" then "Swanker" before pressing enter.
  2. This lead me to a link in the actual 1925 Iowa state census for Lucas County, where the head of household is: "Ben Gooring" with a mother "Nancy Swanker." This is curious because:

    a. "Gooring" could be an incorrect indexing transcription of "Goering."

    b. Nancy Swanker would be known on records by her married name
    Nancy Goering by the time she was Ben's mother, her 8th child.

    c. My maternal grandmother's handwritten family history notes an 8th child "Benjamin" born Nov 1889 to Ferd and Nancy Jane (Swanker) Goering. I had previously proved this info through other source documents including the 1900 US Federal Census Records for Dallas Township, Marion County, Iowa District 39 listing the household of Ferdinand Goering on NARA Group T623 Roll 447 page 10A, which I had photocopied from microfilm at the National Archives in Washington, DC some 21 years ago using one of those ancient
    wet paper copiers. Additional supporting evidence available on request.When Ol' Myrt clicked to view the scanned image of the census page, Ben Goering's entry was on one double page, and two smaller pages as accentuated by the red oval in the screen shot below:

1925 Iowa State Census, Lucas County from

Like a school teacher’s grade book, the second and third pages are cut smaller, so the name of the enumerated individual shows through from the first page, saving the census taker the effort and possibility of error of having to write the name three times. Note in the detail of page 2, that Ben H. Goering's parents are listed as:

Goering, Ferdinand, born in Iowa, age at last birthday 74
Swanker, Nancy, born in Iowa age at last birthday 68

1925 Iowa State Census, Lucas County from

Now don't you wish that each census enumeration was this detailed?

A big thank-you to the folks at Iowa GenWeb who have gone all out in describing and transcribing the various state census records. See:

THANKS to Michael John Neill for steering me in the right direction. There are numerous other research possibilities from this one family’s entries, not to mention the other Goering family members that appear in the state & special census records for Iowa. Ol’ Myrt here is so excited about this informative 1925 Iowa enumeration of her ancestors that she just had to share!

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE, Your friend in genealogy.

(c) 2007 All Rights Reserved.

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