Two Children or Four? (Help from the census records!)

23 Jan

I’ll make this quick. I think James “D” Vanderbeek and Nettie Ward Vanderbeek only had two children. Shocking, I know…

When I recently went to, I found four children listed for James and Nettie:

  1. James Lawrence Vanderbeek (1892)
  2. Ruth Vanderhoek (1894) suspect!
  3. Stuart Ward Vanderbeek (1895)
  4. James L. Vanderhoek (1908) suspect!

Here’s why I think there are really only two children, James (1892) and Stuart (1895). I remembered that the census records often ask the mothers how many children they had given birth to and how many were alive:

Screen shot 2013-01-13 at 5.40.12 PM

Notice the little “1” and the “1” next to it? This mother claimed to have given birth once and the child was still alive.

So here is Nettie’s line (along with her two boys) in the 1910 US Census. Here husband is listed on the previous census page, so you won’t see him here:

Screen shot 2013-01-13 at 5.43.09 PM

Notice, all the way on the right hand side, the little “2’s”? Two births, two living children. It is the same on the 1900 Census.

So, I’ll do a little more work..check birth records, etc., but I really can’t find anything remotely close to a Ruth or James L. Vanderhoek…so, they’re probably on the verge of getting cut…

6 Responses to “Two Children or Four? (Help from the census records!)”

  1. Mom January 23, 2013 at 7:33 AM #

    that’s a weird one…keep us posted !

  2. Jodee Inscho Research January 23, 2013 at 2:53 PM #

    I would try to get the original records of the other two children to see what they say. Perhaps the 1908 record for James L. could be a late baptism or delayed registration of birth?

  3. Laura Patterson Vanderbeek January 24, 2013 at 8:35 PM #

    Good evidence! Now you just need one or two more documents for verification.

  4. Aubree Abril January 27, 2013 at 8:36 PM #

    Hi! I’m still learning about the best ways to do this family history research. I really love seeing people use old documents for finding family. I haven’t figured out how to do that yet. Do you subscribe to a website like or are there better places to find census records and other records?

    • BJM January 27, 2013 at 8:45 PM #

      Hi Aubree!

      I primarily use and is free, but is a paid site. I drive to my local LDS Family History Center where we can use for free.

      I have been amazed at what I can find on these two sites. There are so many new documents online now compared to when I used to do family history research, and that was just four years ago.

      Best wishes regarding your researching efforts. Please let me know how I can help. 🙂

  5. Kyla Burke February 3, 2013 at 10:45 PM #

    If there are birth registers or birth certificates especially for Stuart, it may state the number of children born to the mother. Also, if you find those for the others, they may reaffirm your suspicions. Good luck!

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