Notes from the past…

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1940 Census Saturday: Georgia Pauline Bell

Prior to the release of the 1940 U S Census, I created a list of everyone in my database who should be in that census. Each Saturday I hope to be able to introduce an ancestor and his/her enumeration sheet from my 1940 Census “Wish List”:

Georgia Pauline Bell (1894-1958) was the wife of my great-granduncle George Merton Carr.

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More Carr unexpecteds!

I’ve been studying my Carr line from my Dad’s side. Wiley Carr died in the Civil War, only 2 months after enlisting, apparently from disease or accident, not from battle.

Younger brother Coleman Carr (these guys are all my second great-granduncles) seems to have changed personalities, or at least his name, reason(s) unknown. One more tantalizing tidbit on Coleman: Abner Carr’s death certificate lists James Carr as his father. James Carr was Coleman Carr’s father and Coleman didn’t have a brother named Abner…

And now youngest brother William Carr has presented a “gasp moment”: I have located him in the 1870, 1880 and 1900 censuses. I couldn’t find him in the 1910 census. However, I have located his 3 youngest children, Clarence, Raymond and William, living in the Catholic Male Orphan Asylum in Mobile, Alabama!

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Oh, my! How did that happen? Where are the boys’ parents, William T and Luvenia E Carr? I have found several Williams and a couple of Luvenia/Lovenias in the Alabama Deaths, 1908-1974 database at Family Search. I can’t be sure any are my Carrs. All died after 1910.

So did both parents die? Or was there some type of financial disaster that prevented William from caring for his family. Another of my ancestors, this time surname Bennett, placed his kids in an orphanage in Corsicana, Texas when he could no longer care for them. There also appeared to be some mental illness problems in this Bennett family. At any rate, the children had to suffer…

I’m not finished researching William Carr, so maybe something will turn up to explain this census page. Stay tuned…

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Is he Coleman…. or is he Abner….who is this guy, anyway?

Coleman Carr was a second granduncle on my Dad’s side. He was the 6th child of my third great-grandparents James F Carr of South Carolina and Martha Watts of Alabama. Yesterday, I was researching Coleman and following him through the United States Federal Census enumerations for the years 1860 (he was born in April, 1855) through 1920.

Coleman’s life looked to be that of the average Southern farmer of the time: farming, marriage, babies (lots of babies!), more farming until finally, eventually disappearing from the census rolls. With a little luck, he might show up on Find-A-Grave or maybe a USGenWeb cemetery list somewhere. More likely, he’s just gone…

But something interesting and quite unexpected seems to have happened to Coleman Carr of Alabama…

Here are Coleman’s appearances in the Census:

1860 James F Carr family, Wilcox County, Alabama
Coleman, age 4, born in Alabama

1870 James F Carr family, Monroe County, Alabama
Coleman, age 14, born in Alabama

1880 James F Carr family, Monroe County, Alabama
Coleman C, age 24, born in Alabama
father born in South Carolina, mother born in South Carolina

1900 Coleman Carr family, Clarke County, Alabama (he is now married with family)
Coleman, age 45, born in Alabama, married 15 yrs
father born in Alabama, mother born in Alabama
wife L E, age 38, born in Alabama, married 15 yrs
dau Mattie, age 15
son Cleveland, age 12
dau Florence, age 11
son James C, age 9
dau Lela L, age 7
dau Bessie E, age 5

Everything looks pretty ordinary and expected, right? Look at the 1910 census…

1910 Abner M Carr family, Clarke County, Alabama
Abner M, age 49, born in Alabama, 1st marriage, married 23 yrs
father born in Alabama, mother born in Virginia
Lucinda, age 46, born in Alabama, 1st marriage, married 23 yrs
Cleveland S
James C
Bessie E

Ok, obviously the same mother and children, but who is Abner M Carr? Let’s check 1920…

1920 Abner M Carr family, Mobile County, Alabama
Abner M, age 63, born in Alabama
father born in South Carolina, mother born in Alabama
Lucinda, age 56, born Alabama
James C
(also a couple of sons-in-law)

Again, obviously the same mother and kids… and Abner.

Very interestingly, husband’s age appropriate to birth date of 1855, husband’s and wife’s ages are again 7 yrs apart and husband’s father again born in South Carolina (remember James F Carr was born in South Carolina) and mother again born in Alabama. Everything about the actual 1920 census (with Abner) is appropriate to the expected 1920 census (with Coleman).

So were Coleman C Carr and Abner M Carr one and the same man? If so, why did he change his name?

Abner M Carr died in 1930 in Mobile County, Alabama.
Lucinda Carr died in 1939 in Moblie County, Alabama.

I am unable to find either in the 1930 census for further comparison.

I am unable to find Abner M Carr anywhere prior to the 1910 census.

What do you think???