While researching one of my long time brick walls I ran into an interesting thing. Researching one of my great great grandmothers, Catherine Reese. Finally found, I believe anyway, her father and mother, and step mother, and her father parents. I think that her mother and father were Wallace and Caroline Reese, her step-mother was Sarah C Reese and her father parents were Andrew and Jane / Jean Reese. Where it gets interesting is on the 1850 census Catheribe is age 2 and living with her parents and a sister, Mary, in her fathers parents home in Connellsville, Fayette, Pa. Her fathers occupation is listed as Laborer. On the 1860 census, she and her parents have moved, evidently as her mother died and her father married Sarah, to Harrison Township, Elkhart County, Indiana. Her father is listed as a Physician. Then on the 1870 census her father and step-mother have moved again. They are in Penn Township, St Joseph County, Indiana. Her father is listed as a Farmer.
Such a change in his occupation cant be right. I can see going from a laborer to a physician and going from physician to farmer but not the entire thing. No explanation I can think of really would do it.
Was it just a lazy enumerator?
Were they 'shading the truth'?