Thursday, August 13, 2015

Mary Alice in the 1940 US Census

While I wait on files to arrive from the US National Archives in St. Louis, I looked again at a "shaky leaf" hint on my Ancestry tree for my 2nd-great-grandmother Mary Alice Cain Read. She appears in the 1940 US Census living in the household of her daughter Lillian and her second husband William Clay Woolridge in Louisville, Kentucky.
Source: 1940 US Census on Ancestry. Louisville, Kentucky.

It is somewhat surprising to see Mary Alice (here spelled as Alice Reed) with her state of birth listed as Tennessee. But looking closer at the census entry, Lillian and her 19 year old step son Charles answered the questions. Because I still cannot find Mary Alice in the 1880 US Census, I am not certain whether she was living near Barren County, Kentucky or in Tennessee at the time. But I am very certain that Mary Alice's mother had a Tennessee connection, so perhaps this is where Lillian got the idea that Mary Alice was born in Tennessee. Hopefully more will be uncovered in the Civil War pension file of Pleasant Morgan and the SS-5 application of Harl Cain.

As a comparison, Mary Alice appears in the 1930 US Census in Barren County, Kentucky as head-of-household, widowed, but quite well-off compared to her neighbors. She also lists her state of birth and state of birth for her parents as Kentucky.
Source: 1930 US Census. Barren County, Kentucky.
In 1920, she is still listed as Alice Read, head-of-household. Her son Lawrence is shown in this record as a butcher, taking over the family butcher shop after the death of husband Charlie Read in 1916.
Source: 1920 US Census. Glasgow, Barren County, Kentucky.
There's more research to do on this line. And hopefully something new coming this week.

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