Theory and Fact concerning Ira Everingham’s Age

Excerpt from "Everingham Family History, Ancestor's & Descendants of Ira Everingham"
A 100+ page printing made for Ira's immediate descendants.

On the website and in most areas in this printing, Ira Everingham is identified as being born in (1849 or 1858). This is done because documents exist that give both dates, and the true date is not known. It is only speculation and my personal opinion, but from the fact sources that I’ve seen, I believe and earlier records show that Ira was born 16 June 1849. He and his wife, and descendants have identified his date of birth as 1858. Why would I believe differently than Ira’s word and his immediate family?, I certainly am not accusing them of knowingly misleading people, just giving a theory.

As you will see on Ira’s family sheet, we have several census records to help identify Ira’s age. These records help establish that Ira was alive long before 1858. He first appeared as a 3 year old son of James and Violet Everingham in the 1852 census of Ontario area of Canada. This record alone shows that an "Ira" was alive in 1852 and unless this Ira died and his parents named a child born nine years later, with the same name (possible but not probable), then Ira could not have been born in 1858. No official records have been found that actually show Ira’s date of birth as 1858. Two more census records exist of Ontario that also show "Ira" living with his parents in 1861, and 1871. Those records indicate Ira’s date of birth as 1849 to 1850. This would still be consistent with the 1849 date. The 1881 census for Brandt County Ontario identified him as a "Farm Hand" age 28 and wife Louisa as age 26. This record gives the impression that Ira was born in 1853! Notice how after he was married, in ~1877, his date of birth makes him suddenly years younger!, and later, he is identified as four additional years younger!

(my speculation)

Ira who most likely was born in 1849, was approximately the same age as Louise. I do not think that either accurately remembered their dates of birth, but knew that they were very close in age. It is undoubtedly possible that he could have forgotten or maybe never knew his true date of birth. From census records that have been found, it's clear that they did not keep track of their birth dates, and sometimes even their children's birth dates very closely.

When Ira died January 6, 1924, his family identified him as 65 years, 6 months, 21 days old. This meant that they believed his date of birth was June 16th 1858. Family bibles also give this date. Strangely enough, the day and month are exactly his date of birth in 1849, it is only the year that is in question.

Welcome to the world of Genealogy and family research!

NOTE: Much of the genealogy data above was supplied by Roger Harris of Canada.

Kevin Everingham

Back to Ira's Family Page.