Friday, August 3, 2012

A 1940 Census Find - Grandfather Pyle has today announced that the complete 1940 US Census is indexed and available for searching. I knew that I'd have to use an index to find my paternal grandfather, Charles McAlpin Pyle (1893 - 1966) in the 1940 US Census, and as Washington, D.C., then New Jersey, then New York became available, I looked for him, with no luck, which narrowed down the possibility to Maryland. Sure enough, he was living in Ellicott City, Maryland, where I had previously discovered he lived in 1942 (WWII Draft Registration card).

1940 U.S. Census, Ellicott City, Howard, Maryland, Roll T627_1552,
E. D. 14-4, Page 1B, lines 47-48, household of Charles M. Pyle

The census reports that Charles M. Pyle was the 12th household visited, that he owned his home, though the value of the home is not reported. "Yes" indicates that he lives on a farm. He is listed as 48 years old, and born in Maryland, though I know he was 46 in April 1940 and born in New Jersey, not Maryland. He lived in the same place in 1935. This also notes that he is married and the "7" next to the "M" is the notation that was made for married people who did not live with their spouses.

The blank between "no" representing that he did not attend school and "Maryland" for place of birth is for highest grade of school completed. Although I'm not sure, I think he completed four years of college, but it would have been interesting to confirm.

Also in the household is Walter Rouse (indexed as Kouse?), who is indexed as his brother, but if you read the word, it is his Butler! He is a 32-year-old Negro, married, and born in Maryland. He also lived in the same place in 1935.

Important to note here is that there is no circled "x" which was used in this census to record who in a household reported the information. Therefore, Charles did not report his own details, and whatever neighbor provided information to the enumerator didn't know details such as exactly how old he was, where he was born, how much schooling he had, and the value of his home.

The remaining columns of information note that both men were at work for pay during the week of March 24-30, and that Charles worked 70 hours and Walter worked 60 hours during the previous week. Charles' occupation is Operator on a Farm, and Walter's occupation is "Butler + handy man." To the right of the codes, the census tells us that they both worked 52 weeks in 1939, Charles earning $0 and Walter earning $1,040 in salary or wages. Note that the last column "Yes" represents that Charles received "income of $50 or more from sources other than money wages or salary." Because of the way their income was reported, workers "working on own account" (OA) usually didn't report salaries or wages. Any money grandfather Pyle made on the farm or from other sources falls into this category. (His butler has the code "PW" which means he was a wage or salary worker in private work.)

So this begs the question, where was his wife?

I believe that he did not marry his third wife (Lucy) until 1941, and I was hoping to find out a bit more about his second wife. I did a search for Feroll Pyle, born about 1902 in Florida, and found her in New York City, living at 3 East 76th Street.

1940 U.S. Census, New York, New York, New York, Roll T627_2656,
E. D. 31-1350, Page 10A, line 19, record for Feroll Pyle

She rents her apartment for $150 per month. She is 39 years old, born in Florida, is married, and completed four years of college. In 1935, she resided at Ellicott, Howard [County], Maryland. Again, we see the "7" next to the "M" for married, indicating she is married but not living with her spouse.

The next columns of information have to do with employment. You can see the specifics of each question asked in the image at right.

"Ot" in the fifth column doesn't tell me a whole lot, just that Feroll was engaged in "other" work.

And in the columns which should indicate her job and her industry, whatever had been there was erased. (It is possible that what was in the following row - a scientist - was originally written here and erased.)

Feroll worked no hours in the previous week, worked no hours during 1939, earning $0. However, the "Yes" in the last column means, same as her husband in Maryland, that she received "income of $50 or more from sources other than money wages or salary." (I'm guessing that she was receiving money from Charles.)

There's an interesting story here and I only know a small part. What I do know is that this couple divorced soon after 1940. After Charles died in 1966, Feroll insisted that the divorce wasn't finalized (which it was) and she claimed to be Charles' wife and beneficiary of his estate (not his third wife, Lucy). If any family members wish to share what they know or remember, please leave a comment below or send an email.

See my dad mis-enumerated in the 1940 census.

See my mother as a young child in the 1940 census.

I have lots more family members to find in the 1940 census, and the index from, as well as the volunteer index from, will be a big help.

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