Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Uncle Volley on the 1920 Census

After Cousin Jimmy shared his new findings on the family of our Uncle Volley Bailey, I began searching the census. (See blog Cousin Jimmy Finds Uncle Volley Descendants) The first census I found on Uncle Volley was for 1920. Since his first name is often spelled a variety of ways, “Valley, Volley, Volly, etc.,” it took some time to locate him on various censuses. One thing that caught my attention on the 1920 census was that Uncle Volley’s marital status was listed as “M” for married, but there was no wife living in the household. ‘Were they separated or was she in a mental institution,” were my first thoughts about her whereabouts. One of my genealogy friends laughed when I mentioned the “mental institution” as a possibility. I had very good reason to suspect this as a possibility because I had found one of my ancestors on the 1920 census listed as “married,” but with no wife in the household. Later, I found her listed living in a mental institution on the 1920 census.

1920 Census, Richmond City, Chesterfield County

From studying the 1920 census of Uncle Volley’s household, I learned the following things:
  • Volley's daughters were listed as born in Virginia. Therefore based on the age of the oldest daughter, I can assume that he was likely living in Virginia by 1898.

  • Although the 1920 census did not list Uncle Volley's wife living in the household, the census did indicate that the mother of his two daughters was born in "Virginia."

  • Uncle Volley's occupation was listed as "Agent" and the company name appears to be an insurance company, but the writing is difficult to understand. His descendants had told Cousin Jimmy that Uncle Volley was an insurance agent so the census confirms this claim.

  • The 1920 census also indicates that Uncle Volley owned his home and also gives the address as 1716 Wall Street in Chesterfield County which was part of Richmond City in Virginia.

These clues from the census gave me a great start in the construction of the life of my Uncle Volley Bailey, The Insurance Man.

To Be Continued . . .

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Dru,

Good detective work!

Thanks for pointing out the story about the mental institution. That's one for the notebook.

"Guided by the Ancestors"