Identifying the Children – Not Just the Living Children

One unique and useful genealogy questions from the 1900 census is how many children did a woman give birth to. The follow-up question to this is how many of the children are living? There are two ways of approaching this question when applying it to genealogy research.

The first is for households that include women in their childbearing years. Usually these women will have children who are still living or recently no longer part of their households. The responses to these questions can identify children who died in childbirth, infancy or childhood. This is useful since the population schedule of the US census only identifies living individuals in the household.

The second way to approach this information is for older women who are no longer in child bearing or have older children no longer living in their households. This number will include any children identified as no longer living as described above, but should also include any adult children who have since died. This information sometimes proves useful in narrowing down a date of death for a child when other documents are proving hard to find.