Mystery Monday: Enumerated Twice in the 1910 Census?

Ancestry HintsWhat I enjoy most about Ancestry.com is its intuitive search interface! After locating my great-grandparents –Lewis & Carrie (Blanton) Chappel– in the 1910 Census and adding data from that record to each of their Ancestry timelines a “shaky leaf” hint appeared! When I followed that hint, the historical record that it referred me to was for another 1910 U. S. Census entry for my great-grandmother Carrie Chappel. At first, I thought it was an entry for another “Carrie Chappel” in this record because I had already located her with her family in this same precinct and enumeration district. But upon further investigation, this entry was indeed for my great-grandmother who was enumerated twice in the 1910 Census!

Carrie [Blanton] Chappel Enumerated Twice in 1910 Census

Carrie (Blanton) Chappel Enumerated Twice in 1910 Census

[Abstraction]

Enumerated on a date not specified by the Enumerator, this 1910 U. S. Federal Census reports living at 1604 Cleveland Street, Houston 4 Ward, Harris County, Texas were: [1]

Line 70: Rosa Williams, head of household, age 24, a widow, born in Texas as were her parents, works as a Washerwoman from home, rents the house she lives in

Line 71: Alice, daughter, age 6, born in Texas as were her mother and siblings, with a father reportedly born in Missouri

Line 72: Moselle, son, age 5

Line 73: Rosie May, daughter, age 1

Line 74: Carrie Chapel, sister, age 23, married for 4 years, mother of 1 living child, born in Texas as were her parents, works as a Cook for a private family

Line 75: Daniel Spryor, male boarder, age 43, widow, born in Texas as were his parents, works as a common laborer on odd jobs, could not read or write

Reviewing Ancestor Data

Review Data for New Clues and Information

 

How do I know line 74 of the record above is my great-grandmother, Carrie Chappel? The head of household, Rose (Blanton) Williams, is my great aunt and one of Carrie’s younger sisters!

But there are two major questions that immediately come to mind as I take a closer look at this record:
1) Why is Carrie’s information in this record so much different from the information I have where she’s enumerated with her husband and son?
2) Didn’t Ida May Ford, the Enumerator on both census records, not recognize Carrie or at least remember counting her probably weeks before with her husband and son?

Very interesting indeed!

In the 1910 census record with her husband and son, Carrie’s entry reads: [2]

Line 37: Carrie Chappel, wife, age 27, married 7 years, mother of 1 child that’s living, born in Texas with parents reportedly born in Mississippi, has no occupation

But in this second 1910 record above, her entry reads:

Line 74: Carrie Chapel, sister, age 23, married for 4 years, mother of 1 living child, born in Texas as were her parents, works as a Cook for a private family

Big difference in information don’t you think?

But more importantly, why didn’t the Enumerator recognize Carrie or remember counting her already?

Finding ancestors enumerated more than once in census records is not uncommon. In Michael John Neill’s Genealogy Tip of the Day on 22 June 2012, he writes: [3]

Depending on their family and work situation, there is a chance that an ancestor is enumerated more than once in a census. The census was not necessarily always taken “on just one day,” so individuals who moved around the time of the census may have been listed by two enumerators. Individuals who were living in one household and working as domestic help in another may show up in twice–once in each household.”

Clearly the work situation Neill suggest above is not the reason my great-grandmother was enumerated twice in this census. So who do I think gave her information to the Enumerator? My aunt Rose of course! I say that because it appears the only accurate information given for this household in 1910 is about my aunt and her children and about the boarder, Daniel Spryor, who was living there at the time. The only accurate information given to the enumerator about Carrie was that she was married, the mother of 1 living child, and a Cook for a private family. According to family members, my great-grandmother was an AWESOME cook and did in fact work as a cook in the homes of affluent white people for many years. Why this wasn’t reported in the first record I found? I do not know, or maybe she hadn’t started working as a cook when that information was given at the time. But to explore this further, why wasn’t Joseph, her young son, not enumerated with her at this second location if she lived there? If she was married, why wasn’t Lewis her husband enumerated with her at this location as well? Another way to look at this whole scenario is . . . maybe Carrie and Lewis separated. If that is what happened, that would explain why she’s enumerated twice in this census. And . . . if that was the case, where was her son, Joseph? Was he left with his father? Very, very interesting indeed!

Some great information this second 1910 census record provided was that I had no idea that Aunt Rose and her family were living in Houston’s historic Freedmen’s Town in 1910 too! Using Google Maps, I was able to create a visual that not only helped me gain a better perspective as to where they lived in this area of the city, but I was able to see just how close they lived to one another too – 0.3 mi – just 2 – 5 minutes away on foot! [4]

The homes of ancestors Carrie Blanton Chappel and Rose Blanton Williams in 1910

Point A marks the location where  my Great-grandmother Carrie lived with her family at 1609 Saulnier Street. Point B marks the spot where Aunt Rose and her family lived at 1604 Cleveland Street in Houston’s historic Freedmen’s Town in 1910

 

Even though the location (1609 Saulnier Street) where my great-grandparents lived still exist today (the original 1910 house is gone, but another one very similar to it sits in its place since 1928), aunt Rose’s home is no longer there. Due to gentrification that has taken place in Freedmen’s Town over the past 15-20 years, the location where her home stood has been replatted and a water sprayground called, James Wiley Park, is located there today. This park includes a multi-colored rubber surface, with spray and ground features such as a flower, rainbow, fire hydrant activator, raining buckets, and an in-ground spray fountain. Other amenities include benches, a drinking fountain, and a basketball court (see example of a water sprayground below). [5]

 

Houston's Water Spraygrounds

Water Sprayground. Photo Credit: Houston Parks and Recreation Department

Have some ancestors who were enumerated twice in census records? Share your thoughts!

Think we have a family connection?
Let me hear from you because  . . . I’m Claiming Kin!

Related Posts:
Mystery Monday: Searching for Lewis Chappel (Part 1)
Blue Monday: A Devastating Loss for Lewis and Carrie Chappel in 1910
Mystery Monday: Searching for Lewis Chappel (Part 2)

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Source Citation:

1. “United States Census, 1910,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M2MV-7FN : accessed 09 Apr 2013), Carrie Chapel in entry for Rosa Williams, 1910.

2. “United States Census, 1910,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M2MJ-KDV : accessed 29 Mar 2013), Carrie Chappel, Houston Ward 4, Harris, Texas; citing sheet 3B, family 75, NARA microfilm publication T624, FHL microfilm 1375573.

3. Neill, M. J. (2012, June 22). Genealogy Tip of the Day: Enumerated Twice in a Census? [Web log post]. Retrieved April 14, 2013, from http://genealogytipoftheday.blogspot.com/2012/06/enumerated-twice-in-census.html

4. Taylor-Harris, L. (2013, April 14). The Homes of Ancestors Carrie (Blanton) Chappel and Rose (Blanton) Williams in 1910 [Google Map]. Retrieved April 14, 2013, from https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&gl=us&ie=UTF8&oe=UTF8&msa=0&msid=211577307229168907313.0004da5718d3de54b4d72

5. Water Spraygrounds. (n.d.). The City of Houston Houston Parks and Recreation Department. Retrieved April 14, 2013, from http://www.houstontx.gov/parks/aquatics/waterspraygrounds.html

Mystery Monday: Searching for Lewis Chappel (Part 1)

Ancestor Hunt

My mother’s grandfather, Lewis Chappel, has been an enigma in my family research for years now. By the time mom was born, he was already missing in action and no one, not even her grandmother who raised her, ever talked about him. The challenge of locating information about him will be great, but my desire to know what happened to him is greater.

So my very own, “WDYTYA?” for Lewis Chappel begins today!

Census Records

Since I don’t have any home sources such as — birth, marriage, death, religious, school, and personal records — about Lewis to go on, I will begin my search for him in the U. S. Federal Census enumerated with my great-grandmother, Carrie, and their son Joseph. So I start my search with the 1940 decade and work backward, decade by decade.

1940 – Nothing!
1930 – Nada!
1920 – Niente!

It wasn’t until the 1910 US Census did I finally find them together as a family!

Lewis, Carrie, and Joseph Chappel, 1910 U. S. Census

[Abstraction]

Enumerated on the 18th day of April 1910, this U. S. Federal Census reports living at 1609 Saulnier Street, Houston Ward 4, Harris County, Texas were: [1]

Line 36:  Louis Chappel, head of household, age 27, married 7 years, born in Texas as were his parents, works as a Pipefitter for a Gas Company, rents the house he lives in

Line 37: Carrie Chappel, wife, age 27, married 7 years, mother of 1 child that’s living, born in Texas with parents reportedly born in Mississippi, has no occupation

Line 38: Joseph Chappel, son, age 7, single, born in Texas

Analyzing the Data

Analyze the Data

Let me pause here and say that as I take a closer look at the information reported in this record and other census records; I must keep in mind that though these records are a genealogist gold mine, they’re not perfect! All of the information recorded was done orally. There will be errors on both parts — the enumerator and my ancestor, or person, giving the facts. Enumerators, depending on their level of education, misspelled names miscalculated years of birth and marriages, and simply did not record information as accurately and carefully as reported. Those giving information, depending on their level of education too, sometimes didn’t know all the facts needed, or they would make up information as they went along with the interview. Oh, and let’s not forget those ancestors who were not always “forthcoming” with the truth about their lives for a variety of reasons.

Name | Relation | Personal Description

My great-grandfather’s given name is spelled with an “ou,” as oppose to Lewis spelled with an “ew.” This is a reminder that I must include variations of how his given name may be spelled in my search process as well as possible nicknames he may have used like Lou or Louie. Something else I noticed is that my mother spells her maiden name, Chapple, with the “le” ending as opposed to Chappel with the “el” ending. So when did the spelling of the surname change? That’s an excellent question! But this also means that I must consider all spelling variations of the surname in my search process too!

Something I was surprised to see was the middle initial “E” associated with my great-grandmother’s name. As far as I know, she wasn’t born with a middle name. My mother who is named after her wasn’t born with a middle name either. BUT I have seen on some of my mother’s vital records, “Louise,” as her middle name. When I asked her about it, she said school officials insisted that she have a middle name for their records back then. Mom said she refused to let them call her Carrie Bell or Carrie Mae. So she chose Louise for her middle name on school records. So in light of how my mother came to have a middle name, I wonder what “E” name my great-grandmother was using for her middle name at that time? Interesting indeed — LOL!

Both of my great-grandparents are 27 years old, which means they were born around 1883. Great-grandmother Carrie was born 28 Feb 1883. Therefore, her age is correct on this record. I just hope this is the case for Lewis’ year of birth too.

According to this record, they had been married for seven years, which would put their year of marriage around 1903.

My mother always believed that her father, Joseph, grew up in Eagle Lake, Colorado County, Texas where he was born, then moved to Houston during his young adult years. But this wasn’t the case at all since this census record shows him living with his parents in Houston, Harris County, Texas at the age of 7.

Nativity

Both of my great-grandparents were born in the state of Texas. My great-grandmother was born and raised in Eagle Lake, Colorado County, Texas. And their son (my grandfather), Joseph, was born in Eagle Lake, Colorado County, Texas too. So is it possible that the city of Eagle Lake, in Colorado County, Texas is where Lewis is from as well? If not the city of Eagle Lake, which town in Colorado County did he live?

Occupation

Lewis’s occupation as a Pipefitter for a Gas Company gives a significant clue to the type of knowledge and skills he possessed if he was indeed a Pipefitter at this time.
According to Wikipedia, “a pipefitter is a trades person who lays out, assembles, fabricates, maintains and repairs piping systems. Pipefitters usually begin as helpers or apprentices.” [2]

Keeping in mind my great-grandfather’s race and the 1910 era in which he lived, more than likely he worked as a Pipefitter Helper, than a licensed apprentice for the gas company.
Is Houston Electric Light & Power (HL&P) the company he worked for at the time? It is possible given the fact that his home at 1609 Saulnier Street was in the vicinity of where the city’s first gas plant was built along the west banks of Buffalo Bayou. “HL& P filed a charter in 1882 and was granted a franchise by the Houston City Council. Over the next century, HL&P generated electricity from steam, natural gas, coal or lignite and finally nuclear fission for sale and delivery to retail customers in the rapidly growing Houston area.”[3]

Ownership of Home

The house that they rented at 1609 Saulnier Street was in 4th Ward, better known as Houston’s historic Freedman’s Town. This community, which began with 1,000 newly freed slaves from the Brazos River Cotton Plantations in 1866, grew to over 17,000 by 1910 making it the center of black cultural and professional life in Houston. [4]

Another tip I want to include here is how important it is to carefully review ALL of the families enumerated on each census page you find your ancestor(s) recorded! Ancestry.com  makes this process very easy because each census record you attach to your ancestor’s timeline includes a link to “view others on page” (see below).

When I viewed all of the families enumerated on the same census page with my great-grandparents, I discovered that my great uncle Patrick Robert Blanton, Sr., one of my great-grandmother’s older brothers and his family, lived next door at 1607 Saulnier Street! Below is a Google Satellite street view of where these old homesteads are today. Those original 1910 houses they lived in are long gone. But similar row houses were built in their place by the 1920’s and 1930’s.

House A on the left (1607 Saulnier) was the home of Uncle Patrick Blanton, Sr. House B on the right (1609 Saulnier) was the home of  Lewis & Carrie (Blanton) Chappel, Freedman’s Town, Houston in 1910

So based on information from this census record, what key information have I learned about my great-grandfather that I didn’t know before?

o Names (given, middle, and nicknames) – Lewis Chappel, or possibly Louis Chappel
o Occupations – Pipefitter for a Gas Company (1910 Census)
o Birth date and place – abt 1883, Texas, USA (1910 Census)
o Age – 27 yrs old (1910 Census)
o Residence – 1607 Saulnier Street, Houston, Texas 77019 (1910 Census)
o Family structure – married to Carrie Blanton and has one son, Joseph Chappel
o Marriage – Married Carrie Blanton abt 1903 (1910 Census)

You know, I’m not surprised that my great-grandparents are living in Houston’s historic Freedman’s Town. But finding them together as a family in only one census record leaves me with a lot of unanswered questions:

  • When and where was Lewis Chappel born?
  • Who are his parents?
  • When and where did he meet and marry Carrie?
  • Where were they living at the time their son Joseph was born (in Eagle Lake, TX or another city/town of Colorado County, Texas)?
  • What year did they come as a family to Houston?
  • What became of this family beyond 1910?

Stay tuned, for this is only the beginning of my WDYTYA? journey!

Think we have a family connection?
Let me hear from you because  . . . I’m Claiming Kin!

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Source Citation:

1. “United States Census, 1910,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M2MJ-KDV : accessed 29 Mar 2013), Louis Chappel, Houston Ward 4, Harris, Texas; citing sheet 3B, family 75, NARA microfilm publication T624, FHL microfilm 1375573.

2. Pipefitter. (2013, February 12). Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved April 12, 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pipefitter

3. Company History. (n.d.). CenterPoint Energy. Retrieved April 12, 2013, from http://www.centerpointenergy.com/about/companyoverview/companyhistory/

4. Fourth Ward, Houston. (2013, April 08). Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved April 12, 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Ward,_Houston

My New Year’s Day 2011 Roadtrip

My New Year’s Day 2011 consisted of a fabulous soul-food meal prepared by my mom, and a quick road trip across town to a community where my maternal grandfather,  Joseph Chapple, and great-grandparents, Louis & Carrie Blanton Chapple lived around 1910.

Last week on Ancestry.com, I was able to download and review a copy of the 1910 United States Federal Census that gave specific details and valuable information about the lives of my grandfather and his parents at that time. [1]

Jospeh Chappel, “United States Census, 1910”

One bit of information that was responsible for my road trip today was that it listed their physical address in Houston back in 1910. To determine which side of town their house was located, I typed the address into Google’s search field, and Trulia.com, a real estate search engine, came back with a description and photos of the shotgun house that sits exactly in the location where my grandfather lived, and it is for — SALE!

Saulnier Street in Freedmen Town, Houston, Texas

According to the description provided by Trulia.com:

This Single-Family Home located on Saulnier Street is in the Fourth Ward neighborhood in Houston, TX and zip code 77019. The average listing price for Fourth Ward is $279,916. This house has two beds, one bath, approximately 713 square feet, was built in 1928, and list for $124,999.

This description of the house and location of their community was just the information I needed to fill in the gaps about how my grandfather and his parents lived at that time. The Fourth Ward community where they lived was called Freedman’s Town and was one of the first and oldest and black neighborhoods in the city of Houston. According to the Texas State Historical Association, black settlers selected that area of the city which ran southwest of downtown along the southern edge of the Buffalo Bayou because it was inexpensive and White citizens didn’t want to settle in that area which was like a swamp and prone to flooding. Black settlers paved the streets of Fourth Ward with bricks that they made by hand. Because of segregation, black settlers had to create their services and utilities throughout the community. Many blacks worked as tradesmen, day laborers, or in the service. My great-grandmother worked in the service industry as an excellent cook for a boarding house in the downtown area, and my great-grandfather was a tradesman who assembled, maintained and repaired piping systems for a gas company.

In 1910, 17,000 blacks lived in the Fourth Ward area making it the center of black cultural and professional life in the city. [2] But my road-trip today in 2011 depicted a community that has become the poorest black area in the city. But despite this neglected community, investors seem to be pumping lots of capital in this ward again as expensive lofts, condos, and townhomes are on the same blocks with dilapidated and boarded up shotgun houses.

So if you have the surname — Chapple–falling out of your family tree (especially if they lived in the Houston area) let me hear from you because — I’m Claiming Kin!

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Source Citation

1. Year: 1910; Census Place: Houston Ward 4, Harris, Texas; Roll: T624_1560; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 0071; Image: 30; FHL microfilm: 1375573.

2. Wikipedia. (2013, July 12). Fourth Ward, Houston. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved December 8, 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Ward,_Houston