Data Cart

Your data extract

0 variables
0 samples
View Cart


This variable is not available for any of the currently selected samples.

Explore how IPUMS created this variable


MOMRULEH explains the criteria by which the variable MOMLOC linked the person to a probable mother in pre-1950 datasets.

Pre-1950 datasets in IPUMS International establish child-mother links according to four basic rules, and MOMRULEH gives the number of the rule that applied to the link in question. MOMRULEH works the same way for all countries. A lower-numbered rule (greater than 0) takes precedence over a higher numbered rule. The codes for MOMRULEH are as follows:

0 = No mother of this person present in the household.

1 = Unambiguous relationship. This rule covers four basic cases, and occurs when the person linked is 10 to 69 years younger than the probable parent. All relationship pairings are not available in every sample. The allowable relationship pairings are as follows:

Child linked to head or spouse/unmarried partner of the head
Head or sibling linked to parent
Spouse or sibling-in-law linked to parent-in-law
Child/child-in-law linked to head or spouse

2 = Grandchildren. Potential mothers are females listed as child or child- in-law in RELATE who are 13-49 years older than persons listed as grandchildren and who share the grandchild's surname. If there is more than one potential mother, we used relative positions in the household, age and marital status to decide the link.

3 = Other relatives and non-relatives. Link to a preceding person with a plausible relationship pairing of child-to-mother, where the mother is 13- 49 years older, is ever-married, and shares the child's surname. The mother must immediately precede the child or all intervening persons must also be linked to the mother as spouse or child. No links are made for non-relatives over age 17. Permissible relationship pairings are as follows (child to mother):

Nephew/niece to sibling or sibling-in-law
Cousin to aunt/uncle
Other relative to sibling
Grandchild to other relative
Other relative to other relative (RELATEH code 1000, 1001, 1061)
Non-relative to non-relative (RELATEH code 1100-1303)

7= If the child is already linked to a father (see POPLOC and POPRULEH), and that father has a wife present in the household who has not been linked to the child by another rule, the wife is linked to the child as a stepmother, regardless of the age gap between child and the stepmother.

Consistency checks: If a husband and wife were both linked to the same mother, historic samples chose the best mother link based on detailed relationship (RELATEH) and proximity within the household. If a person is linked to two parents who are not linked to each other, remove one of the parental links on the basis of proximity within the household.

Comparability — Index


Comparability — General

This variable is comparable for all countries. The distribution of codes and the quality of the links for this variable varies across samples due to the nature of the underlying data. In some instances customization of the linking rules was necessary because of category differences in RELATEH (relationship to the head of household) and other enumeration practices that affected the data.

Mother-child pairs are required to share the same surname, except when making unambiguous (rule 1) links. This requirement is dropped in Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, where SURSIM does not capture family relationships (e.g. patronymic surnames in Iceland and Norway and non-reporting of child surnames in Sweden).


No universe descriptions are currently available.


  • Canada: 1891, 1901, 1911
  • Denmark: 1787, 1801
  • Iceland: 1703, 1729, 1801, 1901, 1910
  • Norway: 1801, 1865, 1875, 1900, 1910
  • Sweden: 1880, 1890, 1900, 1910
  • United Kingdom: 1851a, 1851b, 1851c, 1861a, 1861b, 1871b, 1881a, 1881b, 1891a, 1891b, 1901a, 1901b, 1911
  • United States: 1880a, 1880b, 1900, 1910