52 Ancestors 2015 Edition: #17 – Finding Edward Noble (c1826 – 1872)

Posted by: Eileen A. Souza

My 2nd great-grandfather, Edward Noble, was born in Ireland abt. 1826, immigrated with his family to England circa 1850, and to Coal Township, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania abt. 1865. I therefore expected to find the family in this county in the 1870 US census; so I searched for them on Ancestry.com with no results. I did find the family as they aged and married in the 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930 US censuses. By 1880, Mary, Edward’s wife, was listed as a widow so the 1870 was the only US census where I had a chance of finding Edward with his entire family.

I tried all the variants I could think of with negative results. In my earlier naiveté, I could not believe that any one could mess up a simple name like Noble–wrong. Even though Edward was a common name, I decided that a restricted given name search might save me from having to browse numerous enumeration districts, as I did not have an exact location.

I selected the 1870 census from the Records Collection box. In the advanced search box I entered Edward and selected exact search from the drop down. I then entered Northumberland County, Pennsylvania and set that to exact. I hoped that by entering the specific location exactly, I could reduce the results to a manageable number to review, even though Edward was a common name.

Source: Ancestry.com

Source: Ancestry.com


As you can see, my results were 342 Edwards in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania in 1870. That was better than I expected. I was lucky it was only 1870 and the area was not as settled as it became later as the coal mining industry grew.

Here is part of one page of the results. Edward Noble is the last name in this set of results. It was initially enumerated incorrectly as Knoebel, and then indexed incorrectly as Koeble.

Source: Ancestry.com

Source: Ancestry.com


I want to point out to you that directly underneath the indexed name of Edward Koeble, you see his correct name of Edward Noble.

I do not know how many of you are familiar with the ability on Ancestry to suggest alternative spellings for names. If you are sure you have the right person or family, I highly recommend that you submit the alternative spelling as I did here. In this case, I applied it to the entire family. This not only helps you in future search by bringing up this result to the top of your searches, it also helps other researchers find the family without have to go through what I did.



Week 17 of 52 Ancestors 2015 Edition, a blogging challenge initiated by Amy Johnson Crow in her blog No Story Too Small.

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