|Lines 11 and 12 of the 1870 Census had boxes to check if the father and/or mother was foreign born. From the top of George Hartley's 1870 Census entry (see below).|
It pays to continue your genealogy education. This became clear to me when I watched Mary Kircher Roddy's webinar "Censational Census Strategies" again last night. Since the vast majority of my ancestors came to the Americas in the 1600s and 1700s, I have routinely overlooked some questions relating to foreign born parents in the federal censuses. Bad genealogist.
I've written about my mysterious 4th great grandfather, Solomon Hartley (1775-1815) and noted that it wasn't until the 1880 Census was I able to determine that two of his sons thought he was foreign born (Germany or Poland). Solomon's son William died in 1874, so I thought that I wouldn't get his answer to his father's origin, until I realized, through Mary Kircher Roddy's demonstration, that the 1870 does ask if the parents are foreign born (just not from where).
Solomon had three known sons: George, William, and Abner Hartley. George Hartley is my ancestor.
William Hartley (1807-1874) only lived to the 1870 Census.
Abner Hartley (1813-1890) gave the same answer as brother William:
The evidence that Solomon Hartley was born in either Germany or Poland has grown a little bit after I've looked at these census records more carefully. Other records back in Philadelphia, including a man (George Hartley) who I believe is likely a brother of Solomon's, lead to me think Solomon was possibly born in Danzig (Gdansk), Poland, or else somewhere in Germany. Solomon may have spent some of his childhood in Pittsburgh, where he said he was born (in his Seamen's Protection Certificate), but something lead Solomon's sons to believe he wasn't born there.
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