Wednesday, April 4, 2012

1940 Census: On The Trail of Some Neals

Riley and Aulda (Messenger) Neal were my paternal 2nd great grandparents. I knew they had been living in Glenville, West Virginia in the 1930 census and just outside Glenville in Linn, WV when Riley registered for the WWII draft. I decided to start my search there. As it turns out, there are six enumeration districts for that area. Wouldn't you know they were in the last one I checked.

Household of Riley Neal, Source 1940 US Census, Glenville, Gilmer County, West Virginia, ED 11-10, Page 10A

When the enumerator came around on 29 April 1940, Riley was the one to respond to the enumerator's questions. The family was living on a rented farm on Butchers Fork on the outskirts of Glenville. Riley is listed as having a 6th grade education and working as a laborer for the WPA. I'm not sure if it's a mistake or a quirk of the census but he is noted as having been unemployed for 26 weeks, but had worked 52 weeks the previous year. His salary is listed as $272. The family was living in the same house they were in in 1935.

Next in the household was his wife Aulda, a homemaker, who had achieved a 7th grade education. Children Charles, Herley, Ella, Leo, Lester and Roy were also in the household. Charles was the only one employed. He had worked 40 hours the previous week as a offbearer in a sawmill. He had 13 weeks of employment in 1939 and made $185.

In the household enumerated before my 2nd great grandparents, you find Riley's brother Oliver. Like his brother, he was living on a rented farm, the same place he'd been 5 years previously. He had worked 40 hours the previous week as a farmer. He had been employed all of the previous year and made $462.

His wife Dortha (Frashure) was the one who answered the enumerator's questions. As luck would have it, her name fell on line 14, making her a supplemental. In the supplementary questions, you can see that both of her parents were born in West Virginia. This was her first marriage, which she had entered at age 19, and she had gave birth to three children. These would be the three daughters-Goldie, Mable and Ethel-who are listed with the couple in the census.

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