I've been somewhat stuck ever since the first news you gave me of "the CANADA factor." Boy this has thrown me for a loop.
I DO understand that census errors concerning birthplaces is common. One person explained to me, and it is very logical, that often when the census taker came to a house the Head of the household, which was usually the husband who was also usually the father of the children, was often out working, and so HIS background info is going to be supplied by someone else in the house. They said that also, it was not only common that the info was actually supplied by one of the children. And it was sometimes supplied by the maid. The children might be at school and the lady of the house might be out. So, a contradiction between cited birthplaces is common, and requires often a second and even a third corroberation.
But you have MORE "Canada" mentions than can be accounted for by a mistake that that. So I'm STUMPED.
An online acquaintance tried help me by also looking up online some (not all) of the census data you mentioned. They have Ancestry.com which I don't. But our communications have been sketchy, so I'm doing the best I can with all the pieces combined.
Let me show you what's come up so far, that makes it so hard for me to adjust to the "Canada" data:
Below I will show 4 Graham generations that have been shaping up. They are:
1. Earliest ancestor William Graham b Scotland.
2. His son Walter Graham b in NY.
3. His son William Graham b in NY.
4. His son Donald Graham b in Calif.
Here is the info I've got on each of those 4:
The 1850 census at Putnam in Washington County in NY has a William Graham’s birth in SCOTLAND and his wife’s in NY. Children present, WALTER, William, Jenette, Daniel (or Dariel), George and someone else. I take this son Walter to be the one in my line, who should be father of next in my line, William.
* * * * * * *
The 1860 census in King Co Wa has a Walter Graham b in NY, husb of Eliz and child present in the home, “W. M.” as born in NY.
The 1870 census at King Co Wa has both a Walter Graham and his wife as born in NY. Children apparently not present.
A printout from a source from a friend has the 1880 census at King Co Wash showing a Walter Graham’s birthplace as NY, his father’s as SCOTLAND, and 3 children present in the home, Wm, Nellie and Crayton as all 3 born in WA. This Walter’s father’s birth in Scotland OBVIOUSLY makes this the Walter mentioned as a son to William in the 1850 census.
* * * * * * *
The 1900 census in Napa shows a William Graham hub of Emilie.
While illegible on William’s birthplace, it has their sons Harold m, William N, Karl L, & Donald S, clearly, and says for each them, Father’s birthplace, New York, and mother’s Minnesota.
This much is ironclad: This William Graham, husb of Emilie, and the offspring, are definitely “mine.”
So, it is imperative to find out if NEW YORK, shown in that census as the birthplace of William (the birthplace of the father of the boys) is correct or wrong. If correct, it fits with the two generations above, preceding William. If wrong, it allow the “Canada” data you have found, but creates problems regarding the two generations above.
* * * * * *
That “Donald S” is my grandfather Donald Stimson Graham, b 1895 Calif.
So you see my problem: If I accept the above, which seems to fit smoothly, then "Canada" doesn't work. And conversely, if I accept "Canada" (which seems to have just as much weight) then the above evaporates.
I just don't seem to have the analytical skills to figure this out. I feel like a deer in headlights. I hope my "stuck-edness" hasn't wearied you. I am putting all of it (NY & CAN) side by side and really trying. Do you ever get so many puzzles on something that you just get dizzy? That's what this one is doing to me. I know it might be right here in front of me, very possibly right under my nose in a sentence you wrote. I'm just waiting for that sudden "Ah ha!" Know hat I mean?
As an aside, I did email you the Vallejo (& Hwy 29 region) graves info we were discussing, but, because of the way that the forum blurs the email addresses to foil the spammers, I wasn't quite sure Igot yours right. You mentioned in one of your posts that you'd email me a copy of that 1900 census that is hard to read, so I can see it. I had it described to me verbally by phone from someone who said it looks like the writing bled thru from the the reverse of the census page, because it looks like backwards handwriting mixed with forward. But their hunch was that William's birthplace in that one was New York, based on other places where that census taker wrote "New York." They said they'd vote for "New York." If you'll email it to me, I might be able to blow it up in a viewer and get some added clarity. Or, let me know in a post if my "graves" email didn't reach you, and I will re-read your blurred address and try it a different way so you get it.
Thanks a bunch, Robert