Project Roots: Tillman – 1930 U.S. Federal Census

1930 U.S. Federal Census – Georgia, Walton, Mountain, Militia District 454
Sheet No. 3B – Enumerated on 8 April 1930
Cap Jackson Road, Enumeration District 0018

Note: Line #80 is bolded because the documented information is incorrect.  Merrell Tillman should have been documented as Daughter and Female.  However, since Merrell is considered a masculine name, the enumerator likely assumed that Merrell Tillman’s gender was male.

In 1930, my grandfather, Rufus J. Tillman, Sr. was a farmer on Cap Jackson Road in Mountain, Walton, Georgia. I haven’t done any official research, but my best guess is Mountain, Georgia is now Monroe, Georgia.

The red marker is Wm Cap Jackson Road. It’s less than two miles away from my grandparent’s home, and also less than two miles away from their final resting place, Prospect AME Church Cemetery. Great-grandfather is also buried there.

I recall accounts from my childhood of him being both a preacher and a farmer. I don’t know if he was a preacher at the time of this enumeration. On this census, he is recorded simply as a farmer working “on own account” on a general farm. “On own account” is an overly technical way of saying that he simply worked for himself (self-employed). Now, if reading convoluted text excites you, and you wish to learn more about 1930 census instructions and the term “on own account”, click here and enjoy yourself!

I noticed discrepancies between the 1940 census and this one. The 1940 census has the place of birth of all children documented as Georgia. The 1930 census has my grand-uncle Rufus Jr., my grandmother Merrell, and my grand-aunt Ethelene documented as being born in North Carolina. Per verbal family history, this census enumeration is correct. I’m left with the impression that the errors on the 1940 census are either the result of the informant, or the enumerator. No informant is marked, which leads to two possibilities: one, the informant for the Tillmans may not have been a household member (someone next door or across the street); or two, it was the enumerator’s negligence. Can you guess which one I lean towards?

Information not included in the transcript:

  • Rufus J. Tillman, Sr.’s age at first marriage was 23, and Bessie Lee’s age at first marriage was 19. I heard many times growing up the Bessie was the love of his life.
  • Rufus and Bessie OWNED their home, which means that Rufus J. Tillman, Sr. was NOT a sharecropper.
  • Rufus J. Tillman, Sr. is documented as a World War Veteran.

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