Sunday, August 2, 2009

Erastus J. Perry: 1920 U.S. Census

My next step in my Vinton genealogy project was to search the 1920 census for Erastus J. Perry in order to find out more about his prior marriages (if any) and/or his parents and siblings. From the 1930 census, it appeared that he and Bertha did not marry until 1922-23, so I figured I would not find them together. My assumptions were correct. This is what I found:

Center Street

Wyonna Perry, head, owns home free of mortgage, female, white, age 65, widowed, can read and write, born in Louisiana, father born in Louisiana, mother born in Mississippi, can speak English

Erastus Perry, son, male, white, age 32, single, can read and write, born in Louisiana, both parents born in Louisiana, can speak English, house carpenter, wage earner

Gus Lyons, brother, male, white, age 53, divorced, can read and write, born in Louisiana, father born in Louisiana, mother born in Mississippi, can speak English, rice farmer, employer, #15 on farm schedule
Estimated birth dates:

Wyonna Perry - b. abt 1854
Erastus Perry - b. abt 1887
Gus Lyons - b. abt 1866

This census gives us a possible name for Erastus' mother: Wyonna Lyons. It seems that Erastus may not have had any previous marriages, as his marital status is given as single rather than divorced, like his uncle's. He was a house carpenter. I wonder when he quit this to open his ice business. In the last census, Erastus' parents birthplaces were given as Texas, but this census gives both parents' birthplaces as Louisiana. Erastus' birthplace is again given as Louisiana, and his birth date is approximately the same. It looks like he may have been living in the same house as he did in 1930. Perhaps he inherited his mother's house when she died. He was at least living in the same neighborhood on Center Street between East and Industrial Streets. I am starting to wonder if the family lived on the other side of Center Street from Industrial Street. If so, this may be the house they lived in:

View Larger Map

I really need to find a city directory and land records. It would be interesting if this were the house because my mother's friend just bought this house for her mother to live in, and my mom has been helping her paint and do some other minor renovations.

It looks like we also found a brother for Erastus' mother: Gus Lyons. The Lyons family is probably Vinton's most famous family, as Ted Amar Lyons (1900-1986) was a starting pitcher for the Chicago White Sox for 21 seasons. I wonder how Wyonna, Erastus, and Gus were related to Ted. Was Gus Wyonna's brother, half-brother, or stepbrother? Since the census does not always capture exact relationships, we have to consider the possibility that Lyons was not Wyonna's maiden name if Gus was a stepbrother or half-brother. Or, he may not be a brother at all. He may be a cousin or nephew.

So it seems some of the questions from my last posting were answered, or at least partially answered. I'll have to continue combing the census records to find the rest of the story.


1920 U.S. census, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana population schedule, Vinton, enumeration district (ED) 54, sheet 10B, dwelling 217, family 220, Wyonna Perry; digital images, ( : accessed 2 Aug 2009); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T625, roll 606.

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