Sunday, September 16, 2012

Census Sunday: Lee Slade

Lee Wycliff Slade was my paternal grandfather’s oldest brother.  With a simple name like “Lee,” he should be easy to track in the census.  However, Ancestry and FamilySearch both indexed him as “Levi” in 1940.   

Yeah, I can see why.  But at least it’s an improvement over “Cra” from 1910. 

Lee and his wife Lillian Ruth Garrison had five children, all of whom were living at home in Burlington, Alamance County, North Carolina in 1940. Although they had owned a home on South Mebane Street in 1930, they were renting on Pine Street for $14 a month in 1940. 

I wonder if they experienced some sort of financial crisis.  It was Depression years, after all.  But Lee was still a delivery truck driver for a wholesale produce company as he had been in 1930.  In fact, he had worked the entire year and earned $1170 in 1939, roughly $19,285 today.  He worked 48 hours the last week of March 1940. So he doesn’t appear to have been out of work.

Click to enlarge

Living with them was Ruth’s brother, Albert Garrison, as he had been in 1930.  However, there were other Garrisons living with them in 1930, too.  Listed as “boarders,” they probably paid some rent.  But by 1940 they had all moved on, taking with them any potential for extra income for the Slades.  

Lee (census says 40 but should say 42 or 43) and Ruth (38) had completed only five years of schooling. Their children didn’t seem to be faring much better judging by their ages and years of education completed:  Lillian, age 15, completed 6 years; Buddy (Wallace), age 13, and Mary Lois, age 11, had each completed 4 years; Gene, age 9, and Robert, age 7, had each completed 1 year. 

My family didn’t see the “Carolina Slades” very often.  But I do remember the afternoon that Lee and Ruth came for lunch.  Ruth offered a prayer in which, among other things, she gave thanks to the wonderful hands that prepared such a delightful and delicious meal.  With that my mother got the giggles.  What was on the lunch menu for the day left my memory long ago, but I know Momma was not a confident cook, so the meal was probably simple and seemingly unworthy of Ruth’s high praise.  

Giggling at the wrong time is a definite family trait that has been passed down.

Christmas 1952 in Burlington, NC
Momma, Me (the cute one), Mary Lois Slade (Lee and Ruth's daughter),
Beverly Slade (my dad's sister), and Freddie Slade (Lee and Ruth's
grandson, son of Wallace and Helen)

©2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.


  1. Once upon a time, Giggles was my nickname. :)

  2. It looks like it was an error with the enumerator recording the information. I would have indexed it as Levi too, especially with the dot over where an "I" would have been.

    1. Yeah, I think you're right about the enumerator.

  3. Love the photo...tinsle on the tree was a must...good to have a little time to cruise through my favorite blogs again!

    1. Yes, it was a great-looking tree! I'm glad to "see" you here.

  4. One of my favorite pictures. Look how young Momma and Aunt Betty are! You are the cute one!

  5. What a great family photo! Giggling at the wrong times...ya, we've done that in our family too. :)