I've just run onto this old posting, in my search for my Mary Shoemaker. I'm sure you may have already found the answers to your questions, after all this time. If not there are a couple of things to keep in mind, when searching through old records, and particularly census records. Census takers in the mountains of Southeastern Ky many times would just go to the mouth of a hollow and gather information from the folks there. You'll find incorrect ages, incorrect birth places, names and sometimes there will even be someone left out. It's hard for many to imagine the terrain and wilderness of the some of the mountain areas, in that time. So I'm quite sure, considering the condition of the roads and access to these areas still, in this time, it must have been a tough and tiring job. So it became easier to ask 'ask a neighbor'. Since its known to have happened here, I'm sure it happened in other areas of the country, as well.
A Person listed FPC or mulatto may also truly be Indian, Asian, Mexican, et. If the person was dark enough, in that particular census takers eyes, they were listed as Black. The same serves in reverse in the Black families. If they had someone in their family, that was light enough to look possibly white, they were listed as such many times. Certainly it would be amazing to find the number of people, who were truly listed wrong.
Spelling is another area that makes our search so tough. I have found some of my people, whose names were so mispelled that I truly happened onto them by accident.
I hope this information will help someone along the way.
I'm looking for a Mary Shoemaker-(Shewmaker,Shumaker, ect), born around 1857, died 1946, lived in Kentucky. She is listed as being born in Ky, in other places she is listed as being born in Virginia. This part of Kentucky, however, was once part of Virgina. She married a James Lawson, they lived in the Lee, Wolfe, Breathitt, Menifee county areas of Ky. She married (2) Frank Pelfrey. If anyone has any information, please contact me, by e-mail.