Sunday, October 28, 2012

Census Sunday: The Breedens

Victoria Jollett, Victoria Breeden, Decatur Breeden
Decatur and Vic Breeden

During World War II, many of my ancestors left the Shenandoah Valley that had been their home for many generations to seek work in Washington DC. And that’s exactly where I found my great-grand aunt Victoria Elizabeth Jollett and her husband Decatur Breeden in 1940. 

Click to enlarge

They were renting an apartment for $35 a month from William and Sarah Moore on Twelfth Street.  The Breedens had not been there very long, it seems, as they said they were still living in Shenandoah, Virginia in 1935, where they had been living all their married lives since 1902. 

Decatur was an engineer with the Navy Yard earning $1820 for a full year’s work in 1939, roughly $30,300 today.  He worked 39 hours during the last week of March 1940. Although Vic claimed to be UNABLE to work, she actually never worked, according to previous census records.  She suffered from asthma for many years.

There is no informant indicated, so it’s unclear who gave incorrect information about Vic’s and Decatur’s ages.  They are recorded as 58 and 54, respectively; however, the ages should have been Vic 62 and Decatur 63.

An interesting story about them is not to be found in census records.  Vic and Decatur were actually first cousins once removed.  Now here’s a tangled mess when figuring out relationships.  Vic’s father James Franklin Jollett and Decatur’s grandmother Lydia Jollett Breeden were brother and sister; therefore, Decatur’s grandmother was Vic’s aunt.  Let’s keep going.  Decatur’s father James Madison Breeden was then Vic’s cousin as well as father-in-law.  Decatur was not just the husband of my great-grand aunt but also my second cousin twice removed.  

Victoria Jollett, Victoria Breeden, Jollett Reunion
Vic at a Jollett Reunion

©2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.


  1. WoW! I think the age thing is mom's baptismal certificate gives a different birthdate than the date she was told she was born...there was never a bith certificate so who knows!

    Happy Sunday!

    1. My grandmother knew she was born in October, but she was never sure whether it was the 9th or 19th. She picked October 9.

  2. Wendy, you and your sister Mary are so funny!

    I have the same kind of tangled tree mess with one of my somewhat distant ancestors. Only they were first cousins (no once removed for them). And you know that future post about someone being indicted I hinted at before? Ya, it has to do with one of these very ancestors.