History Folks, What Do You Make of This?

Here’s the marriage information the Feds gathered on my Great-Great-Grandpa and Grandma, in order to make sure they weren’t infecting the world with their deafness (not all the information, just the relevant part I want to ask you about):

marriage recordNote that it’s pretty clear that they had four children and all are living. This is, in fact, how we found out about Clyde. My Dad and Uncle remembered Ralph and Barlow, but did not know Clyde.

But check the 1870 Census:

1870That’s Oscar’s brother Alfred and his family and right next door is Oscar and Mary. If we had any doubts, look and see that they are deaf and dumb. And there is Caribel.

Now check 1880:

1880Now Oscar lives next door to his in-laws, the Hildreths. and we can see all his kids–Grandpa Hildreth has Barlow with him, and there’s Bell, Ralph, and Frank, Clyde not yet being born. After this, I can’t find Caribel. She vanishes. She should be listed on that special census, at least. Even if she died.

Now, my dad told me that Mary’s dad married her off to Oscar because she was pregnant, and the story he’d heard was that this was the result of a rape. But this doesn’t quite fit the timeline–they were married in ’67 and Caribel came along in ’69. Now, it’s possible that they fudged their marriage date to legitimize Caribel, but then, why not include her in their list of children? If she’d just shown up when she was ten, I might have figured her for a cousin sent to help with the kids because she could hear. But she’s there in 1870.

Any ideas on who she might be?

2 thoughts on “History Folks, What Do You Make of This?

  1. Maybe she’s the daughter of Alfred, who Oscar and Mary first took in as a child because Orpha was sick and/or couldn’t cope? It was just right next door. And then she might have stayed around to help out because she was hearing. My question actually is where Barlow was in 1870. Maybe everybody in the family swapped babies around all week long, depending on who was busy with what.

  2. Most of the censuses I’ve found for that part of Michigan are done in the first part of the year, so I assumed Barlow just wasn’t born yet.

    I like the idea of Caribel maybe being Alfred’s. I’m going to see where that leads.

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