I decided to search for Elvis Presley in the 1940 U.S. Census in Ancestry.com and discovered something bizarre in how they indexed it. Look at the following table taken from that webpage for his line on the census page:
|Estimated Birth Year||January 8, 1935|
|Relation to Head of House||Son|
|Home in 1940||Lee, Mississippi|
|Inferred Residence in 1935||Rural, Lee|
|Residence in 1935||Rural Lee|
|Resident on farm in 1935||Yes|
|Attended School or College||No|
|Highest Grade Completed||None|
|Weeks Worked in 1939||48|
|Income Other Sources||No|
Here is the actual page from the census:
If you’ll notice, the census taker misspelled the surname, Presley, as “Pressley” and whoever indexed Elvis himself thought that “Elzjs” was a possibility. In Mississippi in 1940. When you type in “Elvis Presley”, your search results bring up the misspelling but, as long as you know the names of his parents or birthdate, you can infer that its him.
Ths point of this is to show how common it is for indexing and misspellings to be mistaken in census records. Even The King suffers the indignity! As co-worker Bill Smith mentioned to me, maybe it’s the first instance of “Rock and Roll Respellings” ie: “Beatles” for beetles, “Led” for lead, “Ratt” for rat, etc.
published by Chuck Voellinger