After farming with his father in Illinois did not work out in the 1920s, an uncle moved to a nearby town in Iowa to work a factory job. That was the town where he and his wife lived for the rest of their life. At least that was the story I was told.

The reality was not that straightforward.

The two children of the uncle and his wife were born in that factory town in the 1920s and federal and state census records suggest that they lived there between at least 1920 and 1925. But, they returned to their home county in Illinois to rent a farm–apparently in two separate locations based on the 1930 and 1940 census enumerations. By World War II, the family had returned to the Iowa factory and do not appear to have ever moved back to

They were living in another rural Missouri county when the wife died in 1965. By the time my uncle died in the early 1970s, he was back in that Iowa factory town.

And according to the obituary of my uncle’s son, they also lived in another Iowa county for a time. That location has not been validated with other records.

But even when they say someone “never moved around,” don’t assume the statement was correct.



2 Responses

  1. All of my maternal grandfather’s family has been in southern NJ since the 1600s. My grandfather lived between 2 nearby towns his whole life – I thought. I found them in central PA in the 1920 census. The towns where everyone including myself grew up, are near the Delaware River and are suburbs of Philadelphia. But where they lived in 1920 was not near Philadelphia at all. My mom, also a genealogist, knew this but never bothered to tell me. On a trip back to NJ once, I spoke to his elderly younger sister, who told me that her mother had asthma or allergies. The doctor thought the mountain air would help, so they moved. However, it didn’t help, so they moved back. Not sure how long they were there, but I think it was only a year or less. If it didn’t coincide with the 1920 census, I’d probably never have known!

    • Well that’s certainly interesting. Sometimes people do make short moves. Life might have turned out different if they had stayed where they were in 1920.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Get the Genealogy Tip of the Day Book
Get the More Genealogy Tip of the Day Book
Recent Comments