Friday, August 19, 2011

The Adsit Family in Chicago

My grandmother, Libby, was born in Chicago in 1897. Her father, Charles Chapin Adsit (1853 - 1931), spent his entire life in Chicago. By looking at the Chicago City Directories on Footnote, I am able to find that he moved from 45 Bellevue Place to 24 Ritchie Court in 1905.

From page 151 of the 1905 Chicago City Directory

From page 155 of the 1906 Chicago City Directory

From page 95 of the 1911 Chicago City Directory

Footnote does not have a copy of the 1910 City Directory for Chicago, but by the time of the 1911 Chicago City Directory, the Adsit's address had changed from 24 to 1322 Ritchie Court.

From the Plan of Re-Numbering
City of Chicago, August 1909

This change was due to a City Council ordinance, passed in 1908, that took effect on September 1, 1909, that established a new street numbering system in Chicago. Prior to this time, Chicago street numbers were considered chaotic, with several different numbering systems in place.

I found the Plan of Re-Numbering as a PDF via a Chicago information page at Steve Morse's website.

In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, the Adsit family was enumerated at 1322 Ritchie Place. (Census-taker error? I think this should read Ritchie Court.) This census image shows that Adsit, Chas. C. was listed last on this census page. The farthest left number (1322) is the house number.

Database online. Year: 1910; Census Place: Chicago Ward 21, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T624_263; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 910; Record for Chas. C. Adsit.
I thought it was nice of the census taker to note that "Wife on sheet 4, line 1."

On the following page, I find the rest of the family with the note above Mary B. Adsit reading "Head on Sheet 3, line 100."

Database online. Year: 1910; Census Place: Chicago Ward 21, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T624_263; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 910; Record for Mary B. Adsit.

Farther down this census page the census taker has noted in the far left column that this is Ritchie Place.

In 1910, Charles is 53 years old (born about 1857, not quite accurate), married for 19 years. (They married in October 1890.) The fact that the census taker noted "M1" is actually in error; he was married prior to his marriage to Mary Ashby. The census taker, although getting Charles' birthplace correct, as Illinois, has mixed up the birthplaces of his parents. His father was born in New York and his mother was born in Massachusetts. His occupation is Broker, and in the columns not shown, the industry is "Stocks and Bonds" and he rents his home.

The next page shows his wife, Mary B. Adsit, age 42 (born about 1868, again not quite accurate), married for 19 years, and that she has given birth to two children, both still living. She was born in Kentucky, as were her parents.

The ages of their children are accurate: Charles C. Adsit, Jr. was born in July 1892 (age 17), and Elizabeth was born in June 1897 (age 12). The family also had three servants living with them.
In the 1920 Census, they are also at 1322 Ritchie Court. At the left of the following image, you can just see the "Rit" where the enumerator wrote "Ritchie Court."

Database online. Year: 1920; Census Place: Chicago Ward 21, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T625_331; Page: 16A; Enumeration District: 1157; Record for Charles C. Adsit.
Charles, age 65, still rents this home, and is a "Broker" in "Bonds." Here, his father is listed as being born in New York (correct) and his mother in Connecticut (not correct - should read Massachusetts). Mary, his wife, is listed as 52. (Actually, she is older.) His son, Charles Jr. is 27 and a clerk in an office. (Their daughter, Elizabeth, is married and living in New York City.) The Adsit family still has three servants living with them, with one, Sally Wither, having been with them since 1910.

Since my grandmother, Elizabeth Adsit (Libby), was interested in genealogy, I look forward to sharing the information I have about this family. Libby's father's ancestors go back through New York state to colonial New England and her mother's ancestors go back through Kentucky to colonial Virginia.

Follow Friday is a daily blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers, the genealogy community’s resource for blogging. It is used by many genealogy bloggers to help them tell stories of their ancestors.


  1. Did you know Newberry Library has Chicago Ancestors with the renumbering guide and other tools? Just an FYI if you haven't seen that site yet.

  2. Jen, thank you for the reminder. I do have this site bookmarked, but haven't used it.