A Warford/Teague Family Mystery?

Sallie Louise Teague Warford was my paternal grandmother. I called her Mammaw. Mammaw was born February 12, 1910, at least that is what she reported throughout her adult life but census records actually call this into question. Sallie Teague show be listed with the rest of the family in the 1910 census but there is no Sallie Teague. The census does however show a Nellie Teague age 1. This raises several possibilities. Was Sallie originally called Nellie? Was Nellie another child that died before reaching her first birthday? Could Sallie have actually been born in February of 1910 or later? Did the census taker just write the name down wrong?

On ancestry.com some family trees list Nellie as a child that was born and died in about 1909 and shows Sallie being born about the same time. Other family trees list Nellie as an alternative or second name for Sallie. It is not uncommon for names to be miss-spelled or misunderstood in the handwritten census records of the early 1900s but that seems unlikely here for two reasons: first, because the name is very clearly written in 1910 (it is definitely Nellie) and second because Nellie was a family name. In fact, Sallie had an Aunt Nellie that was 11 years old in 1910.

I was hopeful that the 1920 census might resolve the question but it is anything but dispositive. The 1920 census does not show a Nellie Teague at all but shows a Sallie age 10. Again that could be because Nellie was Sallie or because Nellie had died and Sallie was not born until 1910. If Sallie was born in February 1909 then she would have been 10, on January 1, 1920 but would have been 11 when the census was completed in May 1920. If Sallie was actually born in February of 1910 she would have been 10 when the 1920 census was taken. So, the 1920 census could support either possibility.

There are many possible explanations but the two most likely explanations are either that Sallie was originally called Nellie and it was changed for some reason or Nellie was a different daughter, and Sallie was not born until 1910. If anyone out there knows the answer or has proof of Sallie’s birth date or proof that Nellie was or was not a separate daughter, I sure would like to know the answer to this mystery.

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