Mystery Monday: Using Houston City Directories in search of Lewis Chappel

Using Houston city directories to reconstruct the lives of my great-grandparents in search of Lewis Chappel was an ideal resource for me to use at this stage of my research. I found the U.S. City Directories 1821-1989 database at Ancestry.com and the Houston City Directories online via the Houston Public Library’s Digital Archives to be very easy to use. And since city directories are original records (created at the time and place the family lived), I found them to be very insightful and filled with some pretty exciting discoveries too!

I learned from the 1910 Census that my great-grandparents had been married for 7 years, which would put their year of marriage around 1903. So with that target year in mind, I decided to start my search for them in the 1900 Houston City Directory. I simply worked forward one year at a time until I finally found them living and working together as servants in the home of a, Mrs. T. J. Goree, in 1907 (see below).

A quick search in the directory for a Mrs. T. J. Goree revealed she was the widow of  Mr. Tommie Goree. She resided at 1410 Capitol Ave and my great-grandparents were her live-in servants. Mrs. Goree’s telephone number, which was a party line, was listed as Sw. ph. 1635. [1]

Houston City Directory, 1907

Lewis Chappel in Houston City Directory 1907

[Abstraction]

Chappel Carrie (c),   servt   Mrs   T.   J.   Goree,   r.   same.
Chappel Lewis (c),   servt   Mrs.   T.   J.   Goree,   r.   same.

—–
But it was the 1908 city directory that had me doing the “Harlem Shake” all over the house! Why?! Well, living at West 21st Ave, 1 block west of Nashua Street in the Houston Heights area were my great-grandparents and their son, Joseph, and someone by the name of Amanda Chappel (see below)!!

Okay, are you thinking what I’m thinking? I’m sure you must be thinking what I’m thinking! This Amanda Chappel is either Lewis’ mother or his sister. The old me would have stopped everything and started research on Amanda Chappel! But not this time! I’m staying focus on my search for Lewis. But make no mistake about it, I’ve got Amanda Chappel on my radar now and will track her in these directories at the same time!

Houston City Directory, 1908

Lewis Chappel in Houston City Directory 1908

[Abstraction]

Chappel Amanda (c), r.  W.  21st ave.  1 blk  w  of  Nashua.  Ho.  hts
Chappel Louis (c),  lab.  r.  W.  21st ave.  1   blk   w of Nashua.   Ho.   hts.  3.

—–
My great-grandparents moved a lot in 1910. According to the 1910 Census, they were living at 1609 Saulnier Street in Houston’s historic 4th Ward (Freedman’s Town). But according to the 1910 city directory, they lived at 614 McGowen Avenue in 3rd Ward —  the center of Houston’s Blues Music Culture Center– too  (see below)!

Houston City Directory, 1910

Lewis Chappel in Houston City Directory 1910

[Abstraction]

Chappel  Amanda  (c),  r.  ss  W.  21st  ave,  1  blk  w  of  Nashua.  Ho.  hts.
Chappel  Lewis  (c),  lab.  r.  rear  614  McGowen  ave.  3.

—–
By 1911, the Houston City Directory included house numbers, spouses’ names, peoples’ occupations, and places of employment . My great-grandparents are now living closer to downtown Houston at 1 N. E. Crawford Street. By now my great-grandmother’s first name (though misspelled) has been added. This entry also confirms what I learned about my great-grandfather from the 1910 census record — that he worked for a Gas company. I now have the name of his place of employment too (see below).

Amanda Chappel’s occupation as a Laundress has finally been published for the first time. As a laundress, she probably worked from home at 834 W. 21st Avenue in Houston Heights, a historic subdivision northeast of downtown that dates back to the late 1800s. [2]

Houston City Directory, 1911

Lewis Chappel in Houston City Directory 1911
Lewis Chappel in Houston City Directory 1911

[Abstraction]

Chappel  Amanda  (c),  laundress,  r  834  W.  21st  av,  Ho.  hts.
Chappel  Lewis  (c)  (Corie),  wks  Houston  Gas  Co.,  r  1  N.  E.  Crawford.  (2).

—–
It appears the only address change that occurred for my great-grandparents in 1912 was that they moved to — 3 N. E. Crawford – probably a house next door to where they were living in 1911 (see below).

Houston City Directory, 1912

Lewis Chappel in Houston City Directory 1912

[Abstraction]

Chappel  Amanda  (c),  r.  832  W  21st  ave,  Ho.  hts.
Chappel  Lewis  (c),  lab,  r.  3  N.  E.  Crawford.  3.

—–
BINGO! I believe I have pinpointed the year (1913) my great-grandparents separated! Carrie is living at 1108 St. Charles Street, near downtown Houston. Lewis is living at 721 Hill Street, in 5th Ward which is understandable since he is now working at one of the largest railroad hump yards in the United States — Englewood — which is located in 5th Ward (see below).

Houston City Directory, 1913

Lewis Chappel in Houston City Directory 1913

[Abstraction]

Chappel  Carrie  (c),  r.  1108  St.  Charles.
Chappel  Lewis  (c),  wks  S. P. Shops,  h.  721 Hill.
Chappell  Amanda  (c),  r.  832  W.  21st  ave,  Ho.  hts.

—–
Even though I wasn’t able to locate a 1914 Houston City Directory, online or offline, the 1915 Houston City Directory was most revealing!! What did I discover?! Lewis is nowhere to be found by this time, but my great-grandmother Carrie boards in the home of a, Henry Chappell.  He lives on the east side of  Houston Avenue just 1 block of 35th Avenue in an area of town called, Independence Heights, the first African American municipality in Texas (see below). [3]

Okay, are you thinking what I’m thinking? I’m sure you must be thinking what I’m thinking! This Henry Chappell is either Lewis’ older or younger brother, or an uncle!  Listen, I am really fighting this urge to stop what I’m doing right now and start research on Henry Chappel/Chappell. But I’m not going to do it! I’m going to stay focus on my search for Lewis. But trust and believe this — I have Henry Chappel on my radar screen as I continue my search in these directories for Lewis — LOL!

Houston City Directory, 1915

Lewis Chappel in Houston City Directory 1915

[Abstraction]

Chappell  Amanda  (c),  res  828  W  21st  av  Ho  Hts
Chappell  Carrie  (c)  lndrs  bds  Henry  Chappell
Chappell  Henry  (c)  lab  res  e  s  Houston  av  1  n  of  35th  av  Indpc  Hts

—–
In the 1917 directory, I see my great-grandmother no longer boards with Henry Chappell. She now lives 1 block west of the Creosote Works (which is a Southern Pacific Railroad Shop) at the Englewood Yard in 5th Ward. I’m sure now more than ever that my great-grandparents separated in 1913, and Lewis left Houston sometime in 1913 or 1914 (see below).

Houston City Directory, 1917

Lewis Chappel in Houston City Directory 1917

[Abstraction]

Chappell  Amanda  (c)  res  828  W  21st  av  Ho  Hts
Chappell  Carrie  (c)  res  1  blk  w  of  Creosote  Wks
Chappell  Henry  (c)  hlpr  S.  P.  Shops  res  811  W  22d  av  Ho  Hts

—–
According to the 1918 directory, my great-grandmother is working as a Dometic at 4900 Caroline Street. It doesn’t state that she lives at this location, just that she works there. If she doesn’t live there, then she probably still lives in the 5th Ward area where she was listed in the 1917 directory.

This directory also reveals someone new — Arie Chappel —who works as a laundress and boards with Henry Chappel at 717 W 22nd Ave, in Houston Heights. Since Arie hasn’t been mention in the directories before now, I wonder if she’s Henry’s wife? Okay, she’s on my radar now as well (see below)!

Houston City Directory, 1918

Lewis Chappel in Houston City Directory 1918

[Abstraction]

Chappel  Arie  (c)  lndrs  bds  717  W  22d  av  Ho  Hts
Chappel  Henry  (c)  lab  res  717  W  22d  av  Ho  Hts
Chappel  Amanda  (c)  res  828  W  21st  av  Ho  Hts
Chappel  Carrie  (c)  dom  4900 Caroline

—–
I’m not sure where my great-grandmother, Carrie, is living in the city by 1919, but she’s not listed in the directory for that year. I also notice that Arie Chappell, who I discovered in the 1918 directory, is not listed in this year’s directory either (see below)!

Houston City Directory, 1919

Lewis Chappel in Houston City Directory 1919

[Abstraction]

Chappell  Amanda  (c)  r  828  W  21st  av
Chappell  Henry  (c)  appr  S. P. Shops  r  717  W  22d

—–
Great news! This 1920 directory confirms my great-grandmother’s occupation that was reported in the 1920 census. Even though the enumerator did not record the actual address of the home she was buying at this time, this directory entry gives me some idea as to where she lived — on the west side of August Street, 1 block south of Liberty Road. What also makes this bit of information so compelling in my research is that after my mom’s mother died in July of 1930, she and her siblings were raised in grandmother Carrie’s home. My mom said she grew up off of Librerty Road and I have a feeling this just may be that home . . . woo-hoo!

Finally, I see my grandfather, Joseph (mom’s dad), listed in the city directory for the first time! He is about 17 years old now and works as a milker for Houston Cooperative Dairy Association. I can say with certainty that he didn’t work as a milker very long before he began his career with Southern Pacific Railroad and worked in the railroad industry until he retired in 1958.

This 1920 directory also reveals another new Chappel ancestor — Ella Chappel who works as a laundress and boards with Henry Chappel at 717 W 22nd Ave, in Houston Heights. Okay, are you thinking what I’m thinking? I’m sure you’re thinking what I’m thinking! This Ella, who has the same occupation and lives at the same address as Arie Chappel in the 1918 directory, must be Henry Chappel’s second new wife (see below)!

Houston City Directory, 1920

Lewis Chappel in Houston City Directory 1920

[Abstraction]

Chappel  Carrie  (c)  lndrs  r  w s August  1  s  of  Liberty rd
Chappel  Ella  (c) lndrs  h  717  W  22d  av
Chappel  Henry  hlpr  S.  P.  Shops  r  717  W  22d  av
Chappel  Joseph  (c)  milker  Ho  Co-Op  Dairy Assn  h  Carrie Chappel
Chappell  Amanda  (c)  lndrs  r  828  W  21st  av

—–
WOW! When I started my search for Lewis Chapel a couple of months ago (April 15th to be exact), I knew absolutely nothing about him. But after using census records, the birth and death certificate of his son Lewis Blanton Chapple, and now Houston City Directories, I know more about him and other Chappel family members (Amanda Chappel, Henry Chappel, Arie Chappel, and Ella Chappel) than I ever imagined I would so soon.

Among the new names that I discovered, I noticed that Amanda Chappel’s address — W. 21st Avenue — seemed to be constant (with only a slight change in her house number) year after year in the directories. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? I’m sure you’re thinking what I’m thinking! There is a good chance that this may be Lewis’s mother and she owns this home that she has been living in since the early 1900’s! Okay, I’ve made a note to self (when I’m ready) to research deed records to see if my hunch about Amanda as a home owner is true.

So based on information from the 1900-1920 Houston City Directory, what new information have I been able to add to Great-Grandfather Lewis’ profile as I continue my search for him?

o Names (given, middle, and nicknames)
Lewis Chappel, or possibly Louis Chappel (1910 Census)

o Occupations
Live-in Servant for a Mrs. T. J. Goree (Houston City Directory, 1907)
Laborer (Houston City Directory, 1908-10 & 1912)
Pipefitter for a Gas Company (1910 Census)
Gass Plummer (son’s 1910 birth certificate),
Laborer for Houston Gas Company (Houston City Directory, 1911)
Laborer for S. P. Railroad Shops (Houston City Directory, 1913)
Laborer in Cotton-Compress Industry (1920 Census)

o Birth date and place
abt 1883, Texas, USA (1910 Census)
abt 1884, Texas, USA (1920 Census)

o Age
27 yrs old (1910 Census)
36 yrs old (1920 Census)

o Residence
1410 Capitol Ave, Houston, Texas (Houston City Directory, 1907)
W.  21st ave.  1   blk   w of Nashua.   Houston Heights (Houston City Directory, 1908)
614 McGowen Avenue (Houston City Directory, 1910)
1607 Saulnier Streeet, Houston, Texas 77019 (1910 Census)
815 Schwartz Street, Houston, TX (son’s birth & death certificate, 1910)
1  N.  E.  Crawford Street, Houston, Texas (Houston City Directory, 1911)
3 N. E. Crawford Street, Houston, Texas (Houston City Directory, 1912
721 Hill Street, Houston, Texas (Houston City Directory, 1913)
2426 Avenue J, Galveston, Galveston County, Texas (1920 Census)

o Family structure
Parents:
Siblings: Henry Chappel (Houston City Directory, 1915)
Spouse: Carrie Blanton abt 1903 (1910 Census)
Children: Joseph Chappel (1910 Census); Lewis Blanton Chappel (1910-1910)
Extended Family Members: SIL-Arie Chappel (Houston City Directory, 1918), SIL- Ella Chappel (Houston City Directory, 1920)

o Marriage
Married Carrie Blanton abt 1903 (1910 Census); separated from Carrie (Houston City Directory, 1913), (1920 Census)

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

—–
Source Citation:

1. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

2. Houston Heights. (2013, July 16). Wikipedia. Retrieved July 20, 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Houston_Heights

3. Independence Heights, Houston. (2013, July 20). Wikipedia. Retrieved July 20, 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_Heights,_Houston

Mystery Monday: Searching for Lewis Chappel (Part 2)

Taking a Closer Look

Even though I did not find my great-grandparents enumerated as a family the first time I looked for them in the 1920 Census, I just could not dismiss this gut feeling I had that I really needed to visit that record AGAIN! When I think about everything they experienced in 1910 — the loss of a child and moving two or three different times — another look for them in the 1920 census just seemed so necessary. Well, I’m glad I did! I found them, not as I expected to find them, but . . . I found them!

In the city of Houston I found my great-grandmother Carrie and my grandfather Joseph together . . .

Carrie and Joseph Chappell in the 1920 US Census
Carrie and Joseph Chappell, 1920 US Census

[Abstraction]

Enumerated on the 20th day of February 1920, this  U. S. Federal Census reports living in the Pinehurst Addition of Houston, Harris County, Texas dwelling #454 was: [1]

Line 22:  Carrie Chappel, head of household, owner of the mortgaged home she lived in, age 35, a widow, born in Texas as were her parents, works as a Laundress for a Private Family

Line 23: Joseph Chappel, son, age 17, single, born in Texas as were his parents, works as a Laborer for a Railroad Company

In another Texas city, I found my great-grandfather  Lewis . . .

Lewis Chappell in 1920 Census
Lewis Chappel, 1920 US Census

[Abstraction]

Enumerated on the 3rd day of January 1920, this  U. S. Federal Census reports living as a boarder at 2426 Avenue J, Galveston, Galveston County, Texas was: [2]

Line 38:  Lewis Chappel, black male age 36, married, born in Texas as were his parents, works as a Laborer in the Compress Industry

Reviewing Ancestor Data
Review Data for Clues and New Information

WOW . . . this is interesting stuff!

As I take a closer look at both of these 1920 census records, I cannot help but think there may be “trouble” in the marriage of my great-grandparents!

  • Widow?!
    My great-grandmother obviously told the enumerator that she was a widow! But that wasn’t true at all because my great-grandfather was very much alive and well living just 50 miles away (by car) in the city of Galveston, Texas. Not to mention that I have not been able to find, to date, any record of my great-grandfather’s death in Texas between 1910 – 1920!
  • Married boarder?!
    My great-grandfather either told the enumerator he was married, or the owner of the boarding house where he lived did. Either way, my great-grandmother and grandfather are not living there with him and it seems my great-grandmother may see this separation as a, “death,” where my great-grandfather is concerned – YIKES!
  • Something else I’ve noticed is that my great-grandfather has gone from working as a Pipe-fitter/Gas Plummer for a Gas Company in Houston in 1910, to a Laborer in the Cotton-Compress Industry in Galveston, Texas by 1920! According to The Handbook of Texas Online, [3]

The cotton-compress industry developed in antebellum Texas because of the need to lower the cost of transporting cotton on sailing vessels. . . Compressors, which reduced bales received from cotton gins to roughly half their former size, were first acquired in port. By 1860 more than $500,000 had been invested in the industry at Galveston. As cotton culture spread into the Texas hinterland after the Civil War, compresses were built in many Texas towns in addition to the port cities. The development of communications and the extension of railroads into the state’s cotton-producing regions revolutionized the Texas cotton trade.”

With “widow” and “married boarder” being the key words that jumped out at me in these two records, I’m starting to think that my great-grandparents may have separated by this time! When did this separation take place and is it permanent? I’m not sure. But what I do know is that I will need more evidence than what was reported in this record to validate a legal separation, or divorce between them.

So what’s my next resource?

I think it’s time I use city directories to track them more closely between the 1900, 1910, and 1920 census decades! Hopefully this resource will help me pinpoint the year they arrived in Houston and when my great-grandfather left for Galveston. I also hope this directory will shine a HUGE spotlight on other Chappels living in Houston at this time who just may be immediate family members of my great-grandfather!

Based on information from this 1920 census record, what new information have I added to Great-Grandfather Lewis’ profile as I continue my search for him?

o Names (given, middle, and nicknames) – Lewis Chappel, or possibly Louis Chappel (1910 Census)
o Occupations – Pipefitter for a Gas Company (1910 Census); Gass Plummer (son’s 1910 birth certificate); Laborer in Cotton-Compress Industry (1920 Census)
o Birth date and place – abt 1883, Texas, USA (1910 Census), abt 1884, Texas, USA (1920 Census)
o Age – 27 yrs old (1910 Census); 36 yrs old (1920 Census)
o Residence – 1607 Saulnier Streeet, Houston, Texas 77019 (1910 Census); 815 Schwartz Street, Houston, TX (son’s birth & death certificate); 2426 Avenue J, Galveston, Galveston County, Texas
o Family structure – married to Carrie Blanton and has 2 sons, Joseph Chappel (1910 Census); Lewis Blanton Chappel (1910-1910); separated from Carrie & Joseph (1920 Census)
o Marriage – Married Carrie Blanton abt 1903 (1910 Census)

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

—–

Source Citation:

1. “United States Census, 1920,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MCM8-GRQ : accessed 21 May 2013), Carrie Chappell, 1920.

2. “United States Census, 1920,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MHTY-KPB : accessed 21 May 2013), Lewis Chapel in entry for George Parish, 1920.

3. L. Tuffly Ellis, “COTTON-COMPRESS INDUSTRY,” Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/drc02), accessed June 09, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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!

—–

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