20 May 2009

Tracking Grandaddy

My Grandaddy, Roy Albea Sr., was born in Greenwood County, South Carolina in 1926. His parents were mill workers and Roy started working in the mills as well when he was a young teen.

The family moved around a lot, going from mill to mill. My Grandaddy said that they spent only weeks or days at one location before moving on to another. He would often come home from work or school to find the family's bags packed and everyone ready to move on. Once, his father came up to him at work saying, "Let's go, Roy - we quit."

My Grandaddy picked up this habit of moving around for himself, which can make him a bit hard to track. His parents, C Vernon and Auline (Witt) Albea divorced around 1945, with Auline moving to Atlanta with her unmarried children, including Roy. But Roy didn't stay put. In 1947 he was back in South Carolina - in Greenville, where he married my Grandmama, Betty Huyler. For the next few years they continued to move around, from job to job, until Betty put her foot down and demanded a permanent home.

With census being taken only every 10 years (and only available up to 1930) this family can be hard to track. I'm fortunate that these family members tended to stay in metro areas: Atlanta and Greenville. I'm then able to track their movements through city directories. I recently found Roy and his parents in Greenville City Directories.

Roy - 1946

Here, he's shown in 1946/47 as a utility-man working at Brandon Mills. He's living on Osteen Street, which is part of the Brandon Mill Village (I know this from Google Maps and having visited the area). Above him is, possibly, his father, working at Woodside Mills (check the front of the directory for abbreviations!).

Thanks to these directories I've completed a better image of my Grandaddy's movements and have been able to estimate his parent's divorce and track his movements:
  • 1945 - 302 Glenwood av SE, Atlanta, Fulton, GA
  • 1946/47 - Osteen St, Greenwood, Greenwood, SC
  • 1950 - 400 Whitehall SW, Atlanta, Fulton, GA
  • 1953 - 714 Shelton av SW, Atlanta, Fulton, GA
  • 1955 - 1177 Moreland av, Atlanta, Fulton, GA
  • 1956 - 1177 Moreland av, Atlanta, Fulton, GA
  • 1960 - 500 Amal Dr, Apt 1, Atlanta, Fulton, GA
  • 1962 - 500 Amal Dr, Apt 1, Atlanta, Fulton, GA
  • 1963 - 2925 Thompson Cir, Decatur, Dekalb, GA
  • 1964 - 3542 Larkspur Ter, Decatur, DeKalb, GA
  • 1965 - 3542 Larkspur Ter, Decatur, DeKalb, GA
It is important to note that these listings are not foolproof and are prone to error, just like any other document. For example, my mother and aunt believe that the 1962 listing is incorrect and that the family already lived at their 1963 listing by late 1960.

Regardless of possible errors like these, I still really love city directories as genealogy resources.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails