Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The 1940 Census Knows When Aunt Lillie Lived in NOLA

I didn't expect to find much new information in the 1940 U. S. Census. Sure, there are people I have questions about - like these five - but for the most part, I already know a great deal about people who were alive in 1940 because I know or knew many of them. It turns out that doesn't mean there isn't some interesting stuff to discover. Over the next few weeks, I'll highlight some of the things I've learned starting now with Aunt Lillie. She is one of those five that I hoped to learn more about. Sometimes you get your wish.


My grandfather's sister, Lillie Vashti Lanier, was married at least four times. In 1910, she lived in Atlanta, Georgia with husband #1, Jesse Walls. After Jesse, Lillie married Jack Young and someone named Roberts but I don't know in what order. Her last name was Roberts in 1926 at the time of her mother's death (based on the obituary) but there are no clues about Mr. Roberts' first name. I haven't found her in the 1920 or 1930 census as a Walls, Roberts or Young. 

I was optimistic about finding Lillie in the 1940 census since she married husband #4, James Henry Dixon, on 2 Mar 1935 (somewhere). Lillie lived most of her adult life in Atlanta but a second cousin remembers that she lived in New Orleans and ran a dress shop at some point. She just doesn't remember a time frame. 

When Ancestry announced last Friday that their version of the 1940 census index for Georgia was ready, I knew Aunt Lillie would be my first search.

And I found her! 





James H. and Lillie V. Dixon lived at 523 Lee Street in Atlanta and paid $25 a month rent. Lillie had an 8th grade education but James completed four years of college. James was born in New York and his age of 48 matches up with the 9 Mar 1892 birth date on his headstone. He was a traveling salesman for an automobile supply company and made $1,500 in 1939.

It seems Lillie shaved a few years off her age. She was born in Alabama but 43 years old is questionable to say the least. She was eight years old (born in Nov 1891) in the 1900 census with her parents and her birth year on her death certificate (provided by her grandniece) is 1893. I will give her that in the picture above she looked several years younger than James even if she was probably slightly older. 



But the BIG news here is that they lived in New Orleans in 1935! Since that is the year they were married, maybe that explains why I haven't found a marriage record in Georgia. As usual, answers just create more to do list items but that is progress.


11 comments:

  1. Wonder if she was in NOLA in 1930?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've looked before but will check again now. Not sure how hard I tried because I really thought she was in NOLA much later than the 30s.

      Delete
    2. She did shave years off her age. She did not want anyone knowing how old she really was. She lied to all of us, but my aunt knew the truth.

      Delete
    3. I knew her as an adult. I visited her several times when she still lived in her townhome in Atlanta. She was very secretive about her genealogy and her age.

      Delete
  2. Do you think she was perhaps married more than 4x? Seems like it could be a strong possibility.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anything is possible, especially since we have no time frame any of the marriages except the last one. I'm assume they stayed together until James died in 1951 since she is buried beside him.

      Delete
  3. I haven't checked the 1940 census to see if the Kentucky records are on-line - but reading your blog makes me want to do just that! It is amazing how one find always leads to another!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Okay, I was too excited about your blog - I've already been to ancestry and found my mom and my dad in the 1940 census - their first!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was about to tell you that Ancestry has an index for KY up but got a phone call before I could get it typed. Glad you found it. The volunteer index at FamilySearch and the other partners probably won't be up for another week or two since they have some work to do to get it ready after the indexing is complete.

      Delete