1930 Census – Greenlee Household: An Analysis

One of the projects I’m working on is to ensure that each record saved to my Ancestry private tree has also been transcribed and added to RootsMagic with up-to-date source citations, as well as thoroughly analyzed. My task list for each record includes:

  • Transcribe each record. If a census record, then transcribe household and abstract neighbors into my census spreadsheets, including 10-15 households on each side of the household (expand household range, if any of the research subject’s children, parents, or siblings appear within 15 households of his/her location).
  • Analyze each record thoroughly and write a Record Analysis Report.
  • Add itemized findings to the subject’s Research Report.
  • Verify if record has been added to RootsMagic.
    • If yes, verify source citation and update notes/sentence.
    • If no, then add to RootsMagic with correct source citation and notes/sentence.
  • Add findings to RootsMagic Research Notes.
  • Attach image copy to RootsMagic.

Today’s installment is the 1930 census for my great-grandfather’s sister, Kate Young (Hemphill) Greenlee.

1930 U. S. census, McDowell County, North Carolina, population schedule, Old Fort Township, Enumeration District (ED) 56-16, sheet 23-A, p. 150 (stamped), dwelling 404, family 416, William H. Greenlee household; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 May 2013), citing National Archives microfilm publication T626, roll 1265.

Abstract

Key details for each household member are abstracted below.  The complete extraction is in my census spreadsheet.

22 April 1930
McDowell County, N. C.
Old Fort Township
Dwelling 404/ Family 416

NameRelationshipSexAgeAge at first marriageBirth StateOccupation
William H. GreenleeHeadM7030North CarolinaGen Farming
Kate Y. “Wife-HF6020North CarolinaNone
Mary E. “DaughterF38North CarolinaTeacher/ Public Schools
Ruth A. “DaughterF36North CarolinaTeacher/ Public Schools
George F. “SonM29North CarolinaGen Farming
Nina E. “DaughterF22North Carolinanone

Home owned: O
Value of Home: 25000
Farm: Yes1

Neighborhood:

I abstracted data for 21 households, approximately 10 on each side of the Greenlees, including all households on Greenlee Road, as well as some households on Catawba Creek Road East.

Name, home ownership and value, age, birthplace, and occupation were abstracted for each person in the neighborhood.  This information is in the spreadsheet I keep for census neighbors.

Surnames on Greenlee Road:

Williams, Kelley, Woody, Henderson, Strowd, Melton, Davis, Charlton, Hughes, Hunter, Ledbetter, Greenlee, Lanning, Wells

Surnames on Catawba River Road East:

Willis, Hensley, Connor, Carver, Parker, Parker, McKenney, Evans2

Analysis

Source Analysis

The images are clear and the handwriting is legible, except for a few names. The records have also been indexed by Ancestry.com, which is helpful in deciphering the few names that are difficult to read.

Content Analysis

Compatible Data

  • This census places Harvey’s (William H.) birth between 1 Apr 1859 and 1 Apr 1860 in North Carolina. This is consistent with the information presented on his tombstone and the 1900-1920 censuses.
  • This census suggests that Harvey and Kate were married between 21 October 1890 and 14 August 1891. Their marriage license, returned 31 Mar 1891, confirms the date and, coupled with this census, suggests that it was unlikely that either had a previous marriage.
  • Mary’s birth would have been between 1 Apr 1891 and 1 Apr 1892, according to this census. The SSDI reports her birth date as 25 Apr 1892 and the 1900 census as Apr 1892.
  • Ruth’s and George’s birth place is consistently reported as North Carolina.
  • According to this census, Nina was born between 1 Apr 1907 and 1 Apr 1908 in North Carolina. This is consistent with what is reported on the other censuses on which she appears (except for 1920), her SSDI entry, and her tombstone.

Possibly Compatible Data

  • This census places Kate’s birth between 1 Apr 1869 and 1 Apr 1870 in North Carolina. The 1900, 1910, and 1920 censuses suggest a birth year of 1869 or 1870, while the 1900 census states October 1870. 21 October 1870 is reported in Hemphills in North Carolina and on her tombstone. The 1880 census, however, suggests a birth year of 1872.

Comment: the slight inconsistency in Kate’s birth year is not critical and can be easily explained; one assumes the informant in 1880 was not aware of Kate’s true age.

  • George’s birthdate would be between 1 Apr 1900 and 1 Apr 1901, according to this census. Other censuses suggest that he was a bit younger, with a birth year of 1902 or 1903. The SSDI and his tombstone report his birth date as 30 Dec 1901.

Possibly Conflicting Data

  • Mary’s birthplace is reported as North Carolina here and on the 1910 census. However, the 1900 and 1920 censuses report Georgia as her birthplace.

Seemingly Incompatible Data

  • Kate’s birth place is recorded as North Carolina. All earlier censuses on which she appears (except for 1910), as well as Hemphills in North Carolina report her birthplace as Georgia. Furthermore, her parents appeared on the Murray County, Georgia census in 1870, the year of Kate’s birth.
  • Ruth’s birthdate would be between 1 Apr 1893 and 1 Apr 1894, according to this census. Other censuses suggest that she was a bit younger, with a birth year of 1896 or 1897. This is confirmed by her entry in the North Carolina Birth Index, which reports her birthdate as 11 Jun 1896.

Clues to be Pursued

  • Kate needs to be located on the 1940 census. Harvey should not appear as he died in March of that year. One or more of the children is likely living with her.
  • Harvey and Kate’s third daughter, Rebecca, married Holen Rucker Ledbetter. He is probably kin to the Ledbetters who lived next door in household 403, and may even be their son.
  • Find out how many of the Greenlee children were college-educated. I know that Nina attended four years of college, and at age 22, she was likely a senior at the time of this census. It’s likely that Mary and Ruth, both public school teachers, also went to college, as well as some or all of the children who no longer live at home.

Work Plan

Online Resources

  • Search for Kate on the 1940 census in McDowell County on Ancestry.com.
  • Search for Rebecca’s husband on earlier censuses to identify his parents.
  • Search for Mary and Ruth in the “North Carolina Death Index” at Ancestry. Look for information on years of college.

Local Resources

  • Look in Hemphills in North Carolina for the family bible transcriptions that include Kate’s and the children’s birth information.

Non-local Resources

  • Order a copy of “1930 Enumeration district maps for New York (Schenectady – Yates Counties) and North Carolina (NARA Series M1930, Roll 25).” Available from FamilySearch, although local repositories should be checked before ordering. Locate the map containing Old Fort Township in McDowell County.
  • Search the land records of McDowell County for conveyances by Harvey and/or Kate. This could be done in person on a trip to North Carolina or by ordering microfilm from FamilySearch (grantor and grantee indexes, as well as deeds, are available on a series of 18 rolls).
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  1. 1930 U. S. census, McDowell County, North Carolina, population schedule, Old Fort Township, Enumeration District (ED) 56-16, sheet 23-A, p. 150 (stamped), dwelling 404, family 416, William H. Greenlee household; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 May 2013), citing National Archives microfilm publication T626, roll 1265.
  2. 1930 U. S. census, McDowell Co., N.C., pop. sch., Old Fort Township, ED 56-16, sheets 22-B-23-B.

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