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

1930 U.S. Federal Census – Georgia, Heard, Texas, District 0003
Sheet No. 4B – Enumerated on 17 April 1930
State Highway Franklin to Roanoke

My great grandfather, Robert J. Goode, Sr. was living in Texas, Heard, Georgia in 1930. The family lived in a rented home on a farm, where he worked as a farmer, most likely as a sharecropper. Based on the information documented on the 1940 U.S. Federal Census, some time between 1930 and 1940, the family relocated to Randolph County, Alabama.

I was curious about this State Highway Franklin to Roanoke. A quick Google search, and a click on Wikipedia told me that State Highway Franklin to Roanoke is now Georgia State Route 34 (SR 34) and that it travels west-to-east through portions of Heard and Coweta counties in the west-central part of the U.S. state of Georgia. Ninety-one years ago, my great grandfather lived and worked on a farm along this highway. I’m trying to picture it in my mind.

Information not included in the transcript:

  • Robert’s age at first marriage was 17. Bulah’s age at first marriage was 15.

There is a discrepancy between the 1930 and 1940 Census regarding the name of James Goode. The 1940 Census has him documented as J.C., while the 1930 Census has him documented as John. I’ve researched to find out if John is a nickname for James, and have turned up nothing that supports that possibility. When in doubt, I always go with what the government documents, and what’s carved on headstones. He is documented as James Goode in the U.S. Social Security Death Index, and that is how I will document him.

Just yesterday I learned that it wasn’t until the 1940 Federal Census that local census enumerators were required to document who supplied the information! In Genealogy Basics in 30 Minutes, Shannon Combs-Bennett writes, “The informant may have been the 13-year-old child who happened to answer the door, or perhaps the next door neighbor if no one was home.” After laughing to myself as I imagined a half-senile, decrepit neighbor that can barely speak above a whisper, trying to respond to the enumerator about the family next door, it all made sense.