100 Years Ago: Inez Whittaker Larkin in 1920 – 1920 Census

1920 was a big year for my great-grandmother Inez Whittaker as it was the year she married my great-grandfather Patrick Larkin.

Ernest Larkin and Inez Whittaker Larkin circa 1960s

On the 5th-6th of January, 1920, the Whittaker family was enumerated for the 1920 Federal Population Census. They lived at 1986 Bailey Ave. in Buffalo, NY.

A Google Map screenshot of 1986 Bailey Ave., Buffalo, NY
The house appears to have been torn down according to the street view on Google Maps. 1986 is shown on stickers of the pole in front of the vacant lot.
The green building on the right is a church and you can also see another church down the street from them.
The green building church next door is the Church of God in Christ. The church down the road across the street (with the words Try Center on top of it) is not marked. The large block building above the Try Center is boarded up but had a bingo hall sign still on the front of it.

January 5th, 1920 was a Monday. It is unclear if the enumerator visited on the 5th or the 6th as nothing is marked on the page where the Whittaker family was listed. On the pages before and after the enumerator wrote 5th-6th. It was rather cold at the time – maybe she forgot. LOL

The Weather. Partly cloudy with rising temperature tonight and Tuesday: the lowest temperature tonight will be about 14 degrees; moderate South winds.
The Weather, Buffalo Evening News (Buffalo, N.Y.), 5 January 1920, page 1, col. 1.

Here is a portion of the 1920 Population Census:

1920 Population Census

It shows the family: Charles as the head of household. Ella as his wife. Inace (Inez), Ida, and Dorothy as daughters. Their 4th daughter, Ruth, had passed away the year before. And a sister of Charles’, Helena Whittaker.

It says that Charles owned his home with a mortgage. He was 50 years old and married. Ella was 44 years old and married. Inez was 22 years old and… married? This is confusing as she was not married yet and that letter ‘m’ has an extra bump.

Ida was 16 years old and single. Dorothy was 7 years old and single. Helena Whittaker was 48 years old and widowed.

Not pictured are blanks that were asking about immigration which didn’t apply to them as they were all born in the US. Also not pictured are that everyone was listed that they could read and write and that Dorothy attended school that past year. Ida was 16 years old. She must have dropped out of school by then.

Charles, Ella, and Helena were all born in Pennsylvania whereas the girls were born in New York. Charles and Helena’s parents were also born in Pennsylvania. Ella’s father was born in New York, but her mom was born in Pennsylvania.

1920 Population Census

Everyone was listed as being able to speak English except for Dorothy. I assume that is due to her age but that seems strange. There doesn’t seem to be detailed directions about that question for the 1920 enumerator directions, but the 1910 directions says that it applies to all persons 10 years of age and over. That is probably the same case for the 1920 census.

Charles worked as a conductor for Steam Rail Road. The only other person that worked was Inez. She was listed as a Music Teacher working at Home of her own accord.

Here is a picture of the Whittaker family that would have been taken before 1919 as that is when Ruth died:

Inez and Ruth are in the top row. Bottom row are Ella, Ida, Dorothy, and Charles. I have the locket that Inez is wearing in this picture. Inside of it is a picture of Ruth.

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