I didn’t expect to find much new information in the 1940 U. S. Census. Sure, there are people I have questions about – like these five – but for the most part, I already know a great deal about people who were alive in 1940 because I know or knew many of them. It turns out that doesn’t mean there isn’t some interesting stuff to discover. Over the next few weeks, I’ll highlight some of the things I’ve learned starting now with Aunt Lillie. She is one of those five that I hoped to learn more about. Sometimes you get your wish.
My grandfather’s sister, Lillie Vashti Lanier, was married at least four times. In 1910, she lived in Atlanta, Georgia with husband #1, Jesse Walls. After Jesse, Lillie married Jack Young and someone named Roberts but I don’t know in what order. Her last name was Roberts in 1926 at the time of her mother’s death (based on the obituary) but there are no clues about Mr. Roberts’ first name. I haven’t found her in the 1920 or 1930 census as a Walls, Roberts or Young.
I was optimistic about finding Lillie in the 1940 census since she married husband #4, James Henry Dixon, on 2 Mar 1935 (somewhere). Lillie lived most of her adult life in Atlanta but a second cousin remembers that she lived in New Orleans and ran a dress shop at some point. She just doesn’t remember a time frame.
When Ancestry announced last Friday that their version of the 1940 census index for Georgia was ready, I knew Aunt Lillie would be my first search.
And I found her!
James H. and Lillie V. Dixon lived at 523 Lee Street in Atlanta and paid $25 a month rent. Lillie had an 8th grade education but James completed four years of college. James was born in New York and his age of 48 matches up with the 9 Mar 1892 birth date on his headstone. He was a traveling salesman for an automobile supply company and made $1,500 in 1939.