The discharge papers are probably more reliable than the census. However, neither of them are primary sources for his birth, so what you see is what you get. In both records there is a lot of opportunities for errors to be made. You may not ever know his exact date or year of birth unless you run across a church record, family bible or some source that is close to a primary source. All you can do is compare all the age sources you have for him and assume the correct year of birth from the year that appears most often. If you can find his burial, like from a tombstone, you will have another date to work with but may still not have the correct one. We’ve already checked that source and got a disappointment, so I think you are stuck with the census and civil war record.
Wish I could do more. Hope this helps.
1880 Pea Ridge census indicates that Simeon was 78 years old at the time of the
When he was discharged from the Civil War in 1863 his discharge papers said he was 43 at the time.
I have tried to find another document to verify his age but the Brown County clerk says there is no death certificate and the marriage license doesn't show an age.
I believe other censuses also indicate he was born in 1802. How accurate are the census ages compared to Civil War papers ?
How can I resolve this ?
Thanks, Les Lee