The 1930 Household of Jim Butler

by Tonia Kendrick on February 17, 2011 in Analysis,Evidence,Research

Census abstract1:

  1. James B. Butler, Head, rented home for $20, did not live on a farm, male, white, age 49, married for the first time at age 25, did not attend school during the year, literate, b. GA, father b. G, mother b. NC, occupied as Sheriff of Murray County where he worked for wages, not a veteran.
  2. Maude, wife and homemaker, female, white, age 45, married for the first time at age 20, did not attend school during the year, literate, b. GA, father b. GA, mother b. GA, no occupation.
  3. J. B., son, male, white, age 19, single, attended school during the year, literate, b. TX, father b. GA, mother b. GA, no occupation.
  4. George, son, male, white, age 17, single, attended school during the year, literate, b. TX, father b. GA, mother b. GA, no occupation.
  5. Ednah J, daughter, female, white, age 16, single, attended school during the year, literate, b. TX, father b. GA, mother b. GA, no occupation.
  6. Luke, son, male, white, age 13, single, attended school during the year, literate, b. TX, father b. GA, mother b. GA, no occupation.
  7. John, son, male, white, age 11, single, attended school during the year, literate, b. GA, father b. GA, mother b. GA, no occupation.
  8. [Living], daughter, female, white, age 9, single, attended school during the year, b. GA, father b. GA, mother b. GA, no occupation.
  9. [Living], daughter, female, white, age 4, single, did not attend school during the year, b. GA, father b. GA, mother b. GA, no occupation.
  10. [Living], daughter, female, white, age 1 7/12, single, did not attend school during the year, b. GA, father b. GA, mother b. GA, no occupation.
  11. Frank E. Johnson, lodger, male, white, age 34, single, did not attend school during the year, literate, b. GA, father b. SC, mother b. NC, occupation “In Jail.”

The family lived on Fort Street in Chatsworth, Murray County, Georgia.

Analysis of the data:

  • The implied birth dates for all family members are consistent with data from other sources, allowing for small differences in rounding.

    Old Murray County Jail

    Old Murray County Jail

  • The family moved back from Texas sometime between the births of Luke and John.  To narrow that further, Luke was born in 23 Apr 19162 and John was born on 19 Aug 1918.3
  • Jim’s and Maude’s reported ages at first marriage imply that they were married in 1905 or 1906.  In fact, they were married 8 Feb 1906 in Murray County, Georgia.4
  • The last member of the household was Frank Johnson.  Prisoner was written in under relationship to head, then marked out and replaced with lodger; furthermore his occupation is reported as being “In Jail.”  My grandmother has told me that her family lived in the jail while her father was sheriff, so this entry offers evidence to support that knowledge. (See image of the Old Murray County Jail.)
  • Jim’s entry states that he was not a veteran.  In fact, he served during the Philippine Insurrection.5  This makes me think that neither Jim nor Maude answered the enumerator’s questions.

The Neighbors

Extracting the neighbors was an interesting experience; my other great-grandparents were farmers in 1930 and lived in rural areas, where most of their neighbors were also farmers.  Jim and Maudie lived in town.  The households were smaller and the people were older.  Their neighbors had a wide variety of occupations.  Women were much more likely to work for wages and many worked outside the home.

Surnames include:  Adams, Anderson, Bagley, Bates, Best, Blalock, Bradley, Bramblett, Caley, Campbell, Cantrell, Carlock, Chastain, Cosley, Dickie, Dillard, Dudley, Edwards, Gordon, Goswick, Hampton, Harris, Heartsill, Hix, Howell, Ingle, Jefferson, Johnson, Jones, Kelly, Kitchen, Larison, Leonard, Long, Lunsford, McCune, Moreland, Morris, Nichols, Parks, Quarles, Reagan, Roberts, Rogers, Shelton, Smith, Springfield, Swanson, Trammell, Wafford, Walker, Wattenbarger, Wells, West, and Woods.

In the 52 households extracted, there were 216 residents, meaning that the average household size was 4.15 people.  Almost all homemakers were the wife.  The neighborhood was almost evenly divided between owners and renters.  Twelve households had radio sets; this is a significant difference from the other neighborhoods I’ve surveyed, which only had one or two radios.  Only two families lived on farms.  Only nine individuals were Negro; the rest were white.  The average age of residents was 30.  One person was divorced, 98 were married, 107 were single, and 10 were widowed.  Females tended to be about 23 when first married and males about 24.  Without taking into account age, 19% of females and 21% of males had attended school during the year.  Only three residents over the age of 10 were illiterate.  Most individuals were born in Georgia, with a smattering born in Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Texas.  Forty different occupations were represented, including laborer, manager, seamstress, laundress, teacher, and many more.

Other Butlers and Whiteners in Murray County

The only other Butler household in the county contained Jim’s parents, Dave and Malinda, and his brothers Frank and Olen.

There were four households with Whiteners.  Maud’s half-brothers William A.6 and Avery P.7 headed two of the households; her father lived with William.  The other two households consisted of two Negro families.

  1. 1930 U. S. Census, Murray County, population schedule, Town District-Chatsworth, enumeration district (ED) 107-1, sheet 6 A, dwelling 127, family 133, James B. Butler household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 16 January 2008); National Archives and Records and Administration microfilm publication T626, roll 377.
  2. Ramsey Cemetery, Luke H. and Ruby B. monumental inscription, personally photographed by Tonia Kendrick.
  3. Leslie Riney, “Murray County, Georgia Death Listings,” abstracts, Murray County Georgia Genealogy and History (http://genealogytrails.com/geo/murray/death_listings.htm : accessed 27 August 2010), semi-chronologically arranged, entry for John T. Butler, 24 Feb 1988.
  4. Murray County, Georgia, Marriage Book N: 536, Butler-Whitener, 1906, recorded license (with original signatures) and return; Probate Court’s Office, Chatsworth.
  5. Compiled service record, James B. Butler, Pvt., Co. K, 9th Inf.; Carded Records, Volunteer Organizations, Spanish American War/Philippine Insurrection; Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1780s–1917, Record Group 94; National Archives, Washington, D.C.
  6. 1930 U. S. Census, Murray County, population schedule, Militia District 824, ED 107-3, sheet 2 A, dwelling 27, family 28, William A. Whitener household.
  7. 1930 U. S. Census, Murray County, population schedule, Militia District 824, ED 107-3, sheet 1 B, dwelling 20, family 21, Avery P. Whitener household.

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