Neighborhood Research: What I find plodding along

No. I have not found anyone famous. Of course, I am not looking for
anyone famous for that matter. What I am looking for are demographic
patterns of the NW Truxton Circle Neighborhood in 1880. The goal was
to do 1890-1930. Sadly, there is hardly any 1890 census as it was
burned, there is a 1880 census with addresses (the main thing that
allows me to focus street by street) and there are over a thousand
people to track each census year.
Anyway, just wanted to share one of my unexciting finds from the 1880
census. I keep finding Irish and German immigrants, or their crummy
children. I do find my clusters of African Americans but so far, and
I’ve only done a few blocks, we are a minority. Understand I had a
theory going in about the racial make up of Truxton, the data is
proving me wrong and I’m a bit miffed.
One of these immigrant or 2nd generation American families were the
Clarks of 406 Florida Avenue, NW. Headed by Cornelius Clark, clerk at
the S.G. (State Government?) Office, he lived with his wife Emily,
their 5 children, his 45 year old sister Margaret (dressmaker) and
their African American servant Henrietta Majors. The Clark parents
were born in New York but were children of immigrants as Cornelius’
and Margaret’s parents were born in Ireland and Emily’s father was
German and her mother Irish. Ms. Majors, their live-in
maid/housekeeper was of Virginia as were her parents. Given Majors age
at the time of the census (21) and her home state, I’ll go as far to
say she may have been born a slave.
So far, off the top of my head the Clarks are the 3rd family I have
found in Truxton to have a live in servant. Typically it was just one
servant. I haven’t found a home so grand in our area that there was a
need for multiple live in servants. The live-ins are recorded on the
census, those who went home after their shift were not recorded, so
there might be other households with servants but that information is
not recorded in the census.

2 thoughts on “Neighborhood Research: What I find plodding along”

  1. Hey now, the Irish and Germans were indeed exciting people! Now had you come across Scandanavian records, now _that_ would be boring. Stoic does not equal fun history. You might have come across something like, “Here be the Tolvstads, Christensons, Iversons and their servant Molly Mathesson, a rotund, quiet young girl of 19…”

    Perhaps you may find more interesting stuff on T ST, with all those big historic detached buildings? PS: We have a ton of historic pictures and artifacts in our basement, left behind by the doctor, a former resident of our building. Our home was a combo OBGYN/dentist’s office for years for the Shaw/Howard African American community, or so I’m told. The lazy roomate would love to have someone come get the stuff.

    Apparently Chief Justice Cardozo lived at 1463 Swann Street. I found a fork in the garden there. Perhaps it was his? – Jimbo

  2. Sure I’ll look at your roommate’s stuff and suggest a nice archive to dump it on for a lovely tax deduction (just like dropping stuff off at Goodwill). I’m free for the first 2 hours, afterwards I charge or you better feed me.
    I have seen this T street of which you speak. As it resides outside of Truxton and I really don’t want to make more work for myself, I couldn’t tell you who lived around there. I am quite sure they had servants it the house is grand enough.
    I am miffed because I was hoping to do this real cool history on African American life in Truxton Circle and them I find all these European Americans. I had hoped that Truxton was different. On the bright side it is more exciting in the 20th century when the census asks about native tounge, there I find the occassional Russian yiddish speaking family smack dab in a majority black neighborhood, making me wonder what is the story there.

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