After researching Evangeline Adams’ life for many years, I was convinced of her birth data: February 8, 1868 at 8:30 AM in Jersey City, NJ. No alternate information had ever been presented during her lifetime or in the decades after. In addition, a family genealogy book published in 1898 confirmed her birth date. In 1900 Census records, Evangeline tells us she was born in February of 1868. These were some of the earliest records I found in the late 1990s and they were consistent. (I was never able to find Evangeline’s birth record.)
Later records, unfortunately, present different information. Adams and her husband fudged their ages on their marriage records, as their 20+ age difference was unusual. The 1910 and 1920 Census records gave differing ages, but may have been completed by assistants and not Adams herself. Lois Rodden published all of this information in her Astrodatabank newsletter. However she tended to simply present the facts and drew no conclusions.
Data collector Ed Steinbrecher discovered a 1933 issue of Alan Leo’s Modern Astrology magazine in which Catherine Thompson, one of Adams’ teachers, suggested she was ten years older. However Thompson and Adams seemed to have something of a combative relationship, and this always struck me as a snarky “dig.” Hymenaeus Beta, who published some of Adams’ works as The General Principles of Astrology under Aleister Crowley’s name, was also an advocate for an alternate birth year. Although he did fantastic research for that book, I still could not agree with him.
Researching U.S. Census records in the 1990s was a time-consuming process. I found the 20th century records for Adams at the National Archives on Varick Street in Manhattan, but did not locate earlier ones at that time. Now that so much genealogy information available on the Internet, it becomes easier. The 1870 Census shows Evangeline at age 2 in Andover, Massachusetts, just where she said she would be.
In 1880 Census records, Evangeline is 12. In both decades, her three brothers also appear along with their correct ages. So I feel that these lend greater authenticity to Evangeline’s birth year of 1868.