Friday, February 15, 2013

Following Uncle Jimmy Through Voter Registration Records

When I came across California Voter Registration Records on Ancestry.com a few months ago, I immediately searched for my grandmother's brother, James Bailey Hankins, but I didn't expect to learn so much.

Uncle Jimmy lived at 11 different addresses from 1924 to 1954 and he wasn't especially loyal to either major political party. I knew he was an electrician but was surprised to find a couple of other occupations mentioned. It appears that Jimmy and his wife, Rachel, were separated in 1934. I can now identify the address where they were living when my father visited them in 1946 and have a date range for when a few other family photos were taken at that same house. 

1924, Los Angeles City, Los Angeles County, Precinct #474
James B Hankins, elctren, 112 S Olive St, D

1926, Los Angeles City, Los Angeles County, Precinct #718
James B. Hankins, 112 S Olive St, pipe fttr, D

1928-1930, San Bernardino County, Morongo Precinct
James B Hankins, Electrician, Warrens Wells, Whitewater, Democrat
Mrs. Rachel Hankins, Bookkeeper, Warrens Wells, Whitewater, Republican
[Jimmy and Rachel were married in 1927 so this is the first registration where she is living with him.]

1930, Los Angeles City, Los Angeles County, Precinct #815
James B Hankins, 748 N Dillon St, electren, R
Mrs. Rachel Hankins, 748 N Dillon St, hswf, R

1932, Los Angeles City, Los Angeles County, Precinct #678
James B Hankins, 1168 Bellevue Av, R
Mrs. Rachel Hankins, 1168, Bellevue Av, DS [Declines to state]

1934, Los Angeles City, Los Angeles County, Precinct #678
Mrs. Rachel Hankins, 1168 Bellevue Ave, DS [Declines to state]

1934, Los Angeles City, Los Angeles County, Precinct #814
James B Hankins, 318 1/4 N New Hampshire, R
[It looks like Jimmy and Rachel were separated in 1934. She's still living at their 1932 address but he isn't. There were a couple other James Hankinses in Los Angeles County during these years but they had different middle initials so this is almost certainly Jimmy.]

1936, Twenty-Nine Palms Precinct, San Bernardino County
James B Hankins, Saddle Livery, Twenty Nine Palms, Republican
Rachel Hankins, Housewife, Twenty Nine Palms, Republican

1938, Los Angeles City, Los Angeles County, Precinct #2112
James B Hankins, 10833 Blix St, electrician, R
Mrs. Rachel Hankins, 10833 Blix St, housewife, D

1942, Burbank City, Los Angeles County, Precinct #64
James B Hankins, 814 Pass Av, electrician, D
Mrs. Rachel Hankins, 814 Pass Av, housewife, D

1944, Los Angeles City, Los Angeles County, Precinct #2111
James B Hankins, 4823 Satsuma Av, electrician, D
Mrs. Rachel Hankins, 4823 Satsuma Av, secretary, D

1946, Los Angeles City, Los Angeles County, Precinct #2673
James B Hankins, 4823 Satsuma Av, D
Mrs. Rachel Hankins, 4823 Satsuma Av, D

This is my dad and Rachel in 1946 in front of the Satsuma Avenue house. Daddy was discharged from the Navy on 22 Apr 1946 in California and spent some time with Jimmy and Rachel before returning home to Kentucky. 

1948, Los Angeles City, Los Angeles County, Precinct #2673
James B Hankins, 4823 Satsuma Av, D
Mrs. Rachel Hankins, 4823 Satsuma Av, D

This is one of several other photos in the family collection made outside this house so they were made sometime during this time period. This one is Jimmy (far right) and his brothers, Elvie and Dick. 

1950, Burbank City, Los Angeles County, Precinct #29
James B Hankins, 3003 Riverside Dr, R
Mrs. Rachel Hankins, 3003, Riverside Dr, R

1952, Burbank City, Los Angeles County, Precinct #37
Janes [sic] B Hankins, 4140 Franklin Av, R
Mrs. Rachel Hankins, 4140 Franklin Av, R

1954, Burbank City, Los Angeles County, Precinct #37
Janes [sic] B Hankins, 4140 Franklin Av, R
Mrs. Rachel Hankins, 4140 Franklin Av, R

1954 is the last year Jimmy and Rachel appear in these records. The collection says it covers 1900–1968 but it is not all inclusive. San Diego County, where Jimmy and Rachel eventually moved, is only covered through 1944 and Los Angeles County records are missing for 1960 and 1962. 

4 comments:

  1. This is really solid research. I never thought of using Voter Registration Records. I like how you can tell the dates when they are separated. I'll try to look them up on Ancestry.com

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  2. He was a mover, and a solid Independent. I hope he finally settled down, for his wife's sake. And, like Mariann stated this was solid research and I'll have to check it out for my California lines, incl. for my parents, when we lived there for 10 years. Thanks.

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    1. Barbara, even though they moved a lot, he had the same job most of that time (electrician for Warner Brothers Studio) so in that respect he was pretty settled down. They'd been married 40 years when Rachel died in 1967.

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