Monday, July 8, 2013

Mystery Monday - Two Places at One Time?

Is it possible for one person to be in two totally different places at one time?  According to the 1930 census records, it looks as if my father, Oscar Dean Perkinson, was able to accomplish this.

1930 census, Woodstock, Cherokee County, Georgia (1)
Accorded to the 1930 census record enumerated on 24 April 1930, my father was listed as residing in the family home, living with his parents, two younger sisters, with an uncle and grandmother also listed as part of the family.  Dad is listed as being 22, single, born in Georgia, and employed as a bookkeeper on the railroad.  I know that the age, marital status, and birthplace are correct, and I remember hearing stories of how he worked for a time on the railroad.  This was in the early days of the Depression, and Dad spoke of having a lot of different jobs, sometimes working several places during a period and other times being unable to find work.  Everything seemed to fit with what I know about my dad and stories he had told.

1930 census, Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia (2)
Looking for other information about my dad, I stumbled upon a second 1930 census listing for him, this time living in the Atlanta YMCA along with about 80 other men.  The census information from the YMCA was recorded earlier in April, appearing to be submitted by mail April 14-16, ten days before the census information had been recorded in Woodstock.

The enumeration for the YMCA recorded that Dad was 21, single, born in Georgia, and working as a sales clerk in a shoe store.  If the information concerning age, etc. was given to the census enumerator by perhaps a clerk at the YMCA, this might explain why Dad's age was incorrectly listed as being 21.  After all, all the names for the YMCA are listed in alphabetical order suggesting that it was taken from another list of residents rather than being recorded from information given to the enumerator by each individual.  I cannot recall if my dad talked about living at the Atlanta Y, but he did mention living at a number of different boarding houses in Atlanta and surrounding areas while he worked various jobs and attended business school.  He also had a different occupation on this record, shoe clerk.  This job was one I remember hearing him talk about and one which seemed to cause Dad to always be the one to take me to buy new shoes, even as I became a teen (how embarrassing!).

So, could my father have been two places at one time for the 1930 census?  It is quite possible, especially since the enumeration dates for the two places were actually 10 days apart.  Plus, Atlanta and Woodstock Georgia are only 20 miles and a short bus or train ride apart.  Family stories support both jobs, and his name, Oscar D. Perkinson, isn't exactly in the common category.  Perhaps he was actually working both jobs, part-time shoe clerk and part-time on the railroad; he certainly wasn't lazy.  

Maybe someday I'll come across a letter written by or about my dad, perhaps written in April 1930, that will shed addition light on this matter.  Until then, I'm willing to say, yes, sometimes a person might be two places at one time.

(1) 1930 U.S. Census, population schedule, Georgia, Cherokee, Woodstock Town, ED 29-5, p.3-B [written],household 61, family 70, Oscar Perkinson [and family]; : accessed 30 Jun 2013, citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 346.

(2) 1930 U.S. Census, population schedule, Georgia, Fulton, Atlanta, ED 61-80, p.12-B [written],household 51, family 70, Oscar D Perkinson; : 30 Jun 2013, citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 362.

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