Sunday, January 21, 2018

"In the Census" - Mary Rodrigue and her grandson, Andrew Pampas

Over my years of pursuing genealogy, I've run into some perplexing census records as well as some enlightening ones.  Of course, the most frustrating census records, other than the missing 1890 ones, are those that hide no matter how have one looks.  Since there was quite a pool of census stories from which to choose, I decided to go with one that surprised me when I found it.

On 11 April 1930, John T. Whitehead, Census Enumerator, recorded my maternal grandfather, Andrew Joseph Pampas, Jr., living with his maternal grandmother, "Mary" Rodrigue, at 343 Alix Street in New Orleans, Orleans, Louisiana (Part of Ward 15).

Section of the 1930 U.S. Census showing my maternal great-great grandmother
and grandfather living in part of Ward 15, New Orleans City, Orleans, Louisiana.

343 Alix Street, New Orleans as it looked
in March 2017.
(Photo courtesy of Google Maps.)

Map showing 343 Alix Street in relation to the Mississippi River.
It was about 3.5 blocks east of the river.
(Photo courtesy of Google Maps.)

This was an exciting find for me because:

  • It showed a direct link between Agnes Lovincia "Mary" Stevens Rodrigue (1879-1948) and my grandfather (1923-1995).
  • It gave me an exact residence address to research.
The record surprised me, because:
  • My seven year old grandfather was living with his 54 year old grandmother instead of with one or both of his parents.
  • No other family members were listed as residing with them on Alix Street.
As I did further research, I learned that Granddaddy's 1930 residence is part of a neighborhood that has been called "Algiers Point" since the 1970s.  According to my maternal great-grandfather's naturalization paperwork, my grandfather was born in Algiers.  Also, he lived with his parents at the time of his baptism at 311 Homer Street, Algiers, Louisiana, just seven blocks northeast of 343 Alix Street.  So, the residential pieces of his early years fit together nicely.

In 1926, my maternal great-grandmother, Margaret Elenora Rodrigue (1904-1985) divorced my great-grandfather, Andrew Pampas, Sr.  Then, in April 1931, Margaret married her second husband, Edward "Eddie" Paul Hunn (1899-1954).  To date, I cannot locate Margaret in the 1930 U.S. Census.  It seems from these facts that her life was probably a bit tumultuous around April 1930.  Perhaps she thought her mother would provide a more stable home for her son during that time?

In the years surrounding the 1930 U.S. Census, my great-grandfather traveled on ships for work throughout the Caribbean and South America.  With his extended absences, I'm sure he needed help to keep his son's life resembling some sense of normalcy and, thus, decided to let him live with his mother-in-law.  So far, I've also been unable to located Andrew, Sr., in the 1930 U.S. Census.

By 1934, it seems that my grandfather may have been living with his mom and step-father.  I'm basing that on this photo I inherited from my maternal grandmother, Mildred Jane Litaker Pampas (1927-2017):
Margaret Elenora Rodrigue Pampas Hunn, Edward Paul Hunn, and
Andrew Joseph Pampas, Jr. (left to right)
in Biloxi, Mississippi, on 08 July 1934.
As with so many genealogy "finds," questions were answered; and, immediately, more questions arose.  And so the hunt continues!

©Amy Wood Kelly, 2018 - I am happy to share my genealogical research and writing with others, as well as to help others with their research efforts.  However, please do not reprint or repost this post in full or in part or use excerpts from it without giving full credit to me, Amy Wood Kelly, as the researcher and author as well as providing the permalink to this post.  Thank you, in advance, for showing respect for my request and the work I put creating this.

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