When researching, I am careful to consider the events which I find through which the family had gone.

If I find a census where the wife has died, and there are small children, I wonder if the father was able to care for the children. Did the father remarry right away? Were the children sent to live with a relative or neighbor?

I have found a number of situations such as mentioned above. In one situation, the father married Wife2 before the next census. This was an interesting situation for another reason – Wife2 had the same first name as Wife1, and they were the same age! It took quite some time to even realize that Wife1 had died! In another situation, some of the children were sent to live with relatives – some of the children had the same name as children in the “new” family! And, in yet another situation the children were split up – each living with one of two neighbors.

So, think of what may have happened when the situation occurred!