This week's prompt is: "What intriguing find have you made in a census?" Here is a clipping of my paternal grandmother, Lila Mitchell Ogilvie's population census entry. She and her family were enumerated on 16 April 1930, when she was 13 years old.
This snapshot in time holds deeper meaning when you understand that this family lost their mother, Eudora Allgood Mitchell, just five months prior, on November 15th, 1929. In addition to Lila's father, Vernon C. Mitchell, the household included her siblings: Howard E. (20), Kenneth C. (18), Eudora (16), Jed N. (10), Louise (6), and Elda L. (4). (Her eldest brother, Vernon R., died tragically in 1920, after being struck by lightning, and her second eldest brother, Leonard R., was married and living nearby in his own household).
I grew up hearing from my grandma about how devastating it was to lose her mother at such a young age (Eudora's death from appendicitis coincided with the advent of the Great Depression - just two weeks after Black Tuesday), and how hard she had to work to step into the role that her mother left behind. Her older sister, Dora, told a similar story.
What I found surprising about this census was the presence of their grandmother, Lettice "Letty" Rees Allgood in the household - either I never heard, or I had forgotten about this part of the story. She was widowed herself, and had been supporting her family alone since 1909. I can only imagine what it must have been like for Letty to suddenly lose her daughter and, in the wake of her own grief, to step up and take care of her son-in-law and seven grandchildren. Thank you, Letty.
Photos: My great-great grandmother, Lettice Rees Allgood, Portrait, and Seated (center) with Children (clockwise from left): Eudora (my great-grandmother), Stanley Thomas, Lester Rees, Ernest Earl, Lettie Florence, and George Harry Allgood (Source: FamilySearch).
Another fun fact I learned from this census was that Letty spoke Welsh. She was born in Pembrokeshire, Wales in 1860 and, according to this record (and the article below), she emigrated in 1872. I think it is pretty cool that she retained the language of her home country, so many years later. This record also shows that she was a naturalized citizen. Her entry in the 1920 census, where she was living alone with her youngest son, Harry, records her year of naturalization as 1889 - I have some following up to do!
I don't know how long Letty stayed with my grandma's family after 1930 - maybe it was only for a short time? My aunt once said that she lived in the house next door. By the 1940 census she was living in the household of her oldest son, Earnest Earl Allgood. This census also reported that she was living in the same place five years earlier, in 1935.
I'm posting an article about Letty below - it was written in 1941, three years prior to her death. You can see how her 'onward and upward' attitude served her well through her years - she must have been quite a character!
1. 1930 U.S. census, Salt Lake County, Utah, population schedule, Salt Lake City, Enumeration District (ED) 18-47, sheet 18A, p. 68 (stamped), dwelling 146, family 154, Vernon C. Mitchell household; imaged at Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 4 February 2018); citing National Archives microfilm publication T626, roll 2420.
2. 1920 U.S. census, Salt Lake County, Utah, population schedule, Salt Lake City, ED 105, sheet 12B (penned), house 30, Letty Allgood (incorrectly indexed as Lilly Allgood) household; imaged at Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 4 February 2018); citing National Archives microfilm publication T625, roll 1866.
3. 1940 U.S. census, Salt Lake County, Utah, population schedule, Salt Lake City, ED 30-11, sheet 1A (penned), house 5, Ernest Earl Allgood (incorrectly indexed as Emestearl Allgood) household; imaged at Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 4 February 2018); citing National Archives microfilm publication T627, roll 4226.
4. Clarence D. Williams, "Early Resident Likes Convenience and Comfort of Modern Life," Salt Lake Telegram (Utah), 22 March 1941, page 13; imaged online, Utah Digital Newspapers (https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu : accessed 4 February 2018).