Eureka Moment – Joseph Banks 1930

Have you ever had that Eureka Moment which makes you stop dead in your tracks or makes you jump out of bed in the middle of the night?

Well I just had one of those moments.

I was trying to get some sleep but at the same time thinking about how to write my next blog. My mind wandered around from thinking of the presidents’ inauguration speeches and how I have to contact the web admin for the site and tell them that some of the links are broken, to thinking about Eaton Rapids and how I should write a letter to the old neighbors who I had not seen in almost twenty years. Why didn’t any of them contact me and why did I not keep in touch with them. Why didn’t…

I don’t know where it came from but there it was!

We can show the boarders or the servants on the family tree file. Why not follow their lives along with the main family tree. Why were they living with the family at this time in their lives? Why did the family need to have boarders living with them?

For years I’ve always dismissed those fringe people that showed up on the family census records. They were not part of the family tree so why bother to collect their names and besides there is no way to put them on the tree since they are not part of the tree.

There you have it. “Have What?”

If you have read my previous blogs you know that I now have a way of showing those people on the family tree “file”. I can now keep track of Barbara Reis age 72 who is a Roomer in the Joseph Banks house hold in 1930.

1930 census
1930 census

In 1930 in Beaver, Pennsylvania lived Joseph and Nellie Banks with their son Charles Gordon and adopted daughter Frances Banks. They lived at 101 Market Street. In their household they also had “Roomers” Joseph Russell age 26, Harry Burnette age 26, William Frank age 20, Jack Miller age 20,and Barbara Reis age 72. Mr. Banks was employed as a diver in the river and he was renting the house where all these people lived. He paid $35 rent a month and Barbara Reis was paying $10 rent, all the others were not paying rent (at least not to the landlord).

Charles the son as well as Mr. Russell were laborers and worked at Odd Jobs. Mr. Burnette was a mule driver in the coal mine. Mr. Frank was a gatherer at the Glass works. Mr. Miller was a laborer at the coal mine and Mrs. Reis was a child’s nurse. Mrs. Reis spoke German as her native language.
The 1930 census also records that the household owned a radio. On the map provided by the transcript page on Ancestry.com it shows that Market St is just one block from the “Beaver River”. I guess Joseph Banks didn’t have far to walk to work.

Market St and River
Market St and River

Now, I know you are saying to yourself ”So What?” who cares about all these facts.

I give you these facts about the 1930 lives of these various people because I can. All that information I just gave you was on the 1930 census record and we can capture that information for all these people by putting them on the family tree file. They may not be part of the family but somewhere out there a tree owner is looking for these people. Up to now we did not record their existence because they were not part of the family tree they were just roomers, servants, boarders, lodgers or house workers; well now they have a home.

And you know this new home (family tree file) is just like the home they had back in 1930 they are just rooming here.

Thank You.

PS. The whole Joseph Banks story which I have now featured in two of my blogs all started because I found a small item in the newspaper and wanted to find a family tree for the couple. I have not found one yet.

Newspaper Item
Newspaper Item

By Jose A Munoz

Retired General Motors designer who now works on subjects dealing with genealogy. I create trees using items I find in old Google News Archive newspapers and I contact other tree owners notifying them about the news item concerning their relative and send them a link to the tree I created. I post a screen print of the news item on the tree for others to copy, so that my work will benefit others. Occasionally, I will post about the tree I created or the item that I found, always with a "how to" in-bedded in the post. I want my blog posts to help others with their family trees or with their genealogy experiences.

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