Befuddled by the 1880 Census

Befuddled by the 1880 Census

I have been working on the Kelly family this week.  After finding Michael Kelly living with an Uncle, John Kelly, I renewed my efforts to fill in the blanks on his Father, Martin Kelly.

I was pouring over data last night when I realized that I never found Martin’s sons, John Joseph Kelly and Matthew Andrew Kelly, in the 1880 census.  I had made many attempts to find Martin, himself, and my theory was John and Matthew were hiding with him.

His daughter, Mary (Kelly) Meincke and her husband, Frederick, were also missing.  I decided to be creative in their case.  In looking over my notes, I noted that Frederick had a business partner, August Pope.  Why wouldn’t August Pope and Frederick Meincke be living in the same neighborhood?

So, I went out searching for Mr. Pope.  I found him quite easily.  Then I went page by page by page until at last I found the Meincke’s on 26th.  It’s not surprising that the Meincke’s are missing in the 1880 Census indexes.  The M is very fancy and might be mistaken for an H or an A.  Frederick’s name sort of drops off at the end.  Son, Frederick, is listed as Fred.  Daughter Catherine is just “Cath”.

This renewed my belief that the Kelly’s must be there somewhere.  Martin owned a boarding house and saloon on Mission Street, not far from the Meincke’s.  I paged through, but after an hour or so decided I wasn’t getting anywhere.  I gave up for the night.

Today I went back to the 1879 and 1880 city directories.  I realized that I had misinterpreted Martin Kelly’s entry.  He ran a saloon at 872 Mission Street, but he lived at 713 Howard!  I couldn’t find Matthew Kelly, but his son, John, lived with him and was his bartender.

I reasoned that if I couldn’t find Martin or John in the index, why not find someone else living nearby!  I did several searcher at in the 1880 city directory for anyone living at “713 Howard”, “711 Howard”, “715 Howard”… you get the idea.  Alot of these places appear to be boardinghouses or apartments with many people living in them.

Several of the people were not at the address listed in the city directory.  Rats!  It took me many tries to finally find families on Howard Street.  Eventually, I found someone at 715.  I followed the pages to 717 and then to 737 and to 711, but where was 713?

I went through a few families around the 713 address, but I could not locate the page with 711.  I get the feeling that Martin Kelly dumped a bucket of water on the census enumerator and he never returned!  I hope he didn’t shoot him in the back like he did the guy who owed him money in 1890!

I did find his boardinghouse at 872 Mission.  Several boarders were enumerated.  There was even a Pat Kelly.  But, now Martin, Matthew, or John.

Oh, how frustrating!!!  To know exact where they are and not be able to find them.  There isn’t anything close in or’s indexes.  Go page by page only showed me that 713 Howard Street is much like trying to find the platform to go to Hogwart’s!

Right now, I am out of ideas.  I really don’t relish going through San Francisco’s enumeration page by page.   Is it possibly all three of the Kelly’s avoided the census enumerator?  Or, are they their but under some off the wall name like Relley or Keillery?  I may never know.  Rats!

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