I've been dealing with them a great deal, but haven't had the heart to mention them here (you might have noticed a lack of blogging).
Did you know that the name Scott is extremely, extremely common? Especially in Kentucky?
Well, it is.
I had started off with a slight handicap with the Scotts because all I had was a vague family tradition. There was my ancestor Alice and a list of siblings (in no particular order): Allen, Charlie, Lee and Anna. Their mother's name was Martha Harrietta McRae and their father Robert Lee Scott.
I was a bit hamstrung until I discovered the marriage record online and it said that his name was Robert N. Scott. As did the only census records I could find, the 1880:
S.D. 4, E.D. 64, Page No. 15/434A
11 June 1880 by WB McNeel
line 13, 125/125 SCOTT Robert N WM 37 M Farmer Kentucky NC NC
Martha WF 27 wife M Keeping house Missouri Geo MO
Willam WM 11 Son S At home attended school Missouri Ky MO
Charley WM 9 Son S Missouri Ky MO
Robert WM 7 Son S Missouri Ky MO
Alice WF 5 Daughter Missouri Ky MO
Anna WF 2 Daughter Missouri Ky MO
A very close fit, though no "Allen", but since "Lee" was probably "Robert Lee", the first child could be "William Allen".
Nearby was a "Allen Scott" the right age to be Robert's father, but his birthplace didn't match Robert's reporting, and there was another Robert nearby whose did, so I thought he was probably Allen's son and my Robert a nephew or something. In any case, I needed to find Robert in 1850, where he would certainly be with his parents.
I found a couple likely fellows, and then quickly found them later with wives and children...it seemed my Robert was not in the 1850.
So I realized, "I should be working backward". That's the right way to do these things, step by step from the known to the unknown. So I needed to find Robert with is family in 1870.
Yeah, I'm frustrated.
So I start in on the 1860. Not finding much, not finding much...Roberts born in KY are surprisingly rare... give up on Robert and try finding this "Allen Scott" in the 1860.
1860 Dade Co., MO Census
Page No. 110/113, 31st July 1860 by Thomas S. Coffee
P.O. Sons Creek
line 6, 734/734 Samuel LAWRENCE 26 M " [Farmer] /50 Illinois cannot r/w
Clarinda 21 f Tennessee cannot r/w
Allen SCOTT 48 M " [Farmer] 500/5700 Kentucky
Judith 40 F Tennessee
Philip WL. 21 M " [Farmer] /75 " [Tennessee]
Judith C 19 F " [Tennessee] attended school
Robert N. 17 M " [Farmer] " [Tennessee] attended school
Mary W. 4 F " [Tennessee]
Sarah F. 2 F " [Tennessee]
The crowd roars.
There is Robert N., not born in Ky, but born in TN. That's the problem with having only one census reference. So many details can be wrong.