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January 11, 2019

Caveat: Transcripts Can be Wrong!

Janice Mann posted this query: I'm having trouble finding any information on a baby in my family tree. He's found in the 1871 census in McKillop Township as a 2 month old, illegitimate child - living with the McCallum family. There are 3 sisters in the family (aged 15, 20 and 24) and I presume one of them is his mother. I'm struggling to determine his name (it's transcribed as Morrison Rone) and I cannot find him after the 1871 census.

Transcripts Can Be Wrong
First let's clear up the misreading of this census image. The name of the child on that 1871 census is given as "Born Morrison" (not Morrison Rone) meaning that he was born a Morrison. Apparently he had not been given a first name when the census was taken.

The family in 1871 is given as
Name     Age
Zachery Mc Callum     54
Elisabeth Mc Callum     52
Margary Mc Callum     24 
Susanna Mc Callum     20
John Mc Callum     18
Elisabeth Mc Callum     15
Born Morrison     2/12

Birth Records

Since we know that the baby was born with the surname Morrison we might theorize that his biological father was a Morrison. We know from the census the child was a boy so we might look for a birth of a child in late 1870 or early 1871. The 1871 census was started on April 2, 1871 so we know the child was born before February of that year. If we could find out when the census taker was in McKillop we could narrow the child's date of birth.

We can look under the surname Morrison and McCallum but those are the only clues we have.

March 11, 1871 Birth: Anthony illegitimate son of Catherine Bellon McCallum in Renfrew found on Ancestry

I recommend searching local church records for a baptism record for this child.

Search the Siblings

I only took a few minutes to research all the children of Zachery and Elizabeth, but Janice would be wise to investigate the family thoroughly. Here is a start to the family:

  • Margary Mc Callum  married Joseph Samme
  • Susanna Mc Callum  married John Galbraith
  • Elisabeth Mc Callum  baptised as Lydia Elizabeth married William George McSpadden
It's an interesting puzzle and I wish I had more time to investigate! 

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