Treasure Chest Thursday: 1920 Census of James McSweeney

Among my Christmas presents was a gift subscription to Ancestry.com, which I had survived without for the last year. Most of my online research had been done with Familysearch.org or GenealogyBank.com. Having an Ancestry.com subscription has greatly expanded my base of searchable records.

One of the first collections I searched was the 1920 census. It was picked mostly because I previously had limited access to it. I quickly discovered the census record for my great grand uncle Joseph C. McSweeney. On 26 January 1920, when visited by census enumerator Harry Burke, Joseph was living in Delaware County, Pennsylvania with his brother. This came as a bit of a shock as Joseph was born, raised, and had married just a few years prior in Leetonia, Ohio. He wasn’t living with his wife or son, Joseph Jr., but rather with his brother John and sister-in-law Mary. His listing as a widower quickly had me searching for more records.

Joseph was married to Anastasia Lowry and they had a son, Joseph, Jr. There marriage was short, as Anastasia died in 1919 at age 24 of a sarcoma of the hip, a very aggressive and poorly treatable condition for the time. After suffering for nine months, she succumbed to the disease on 13 February 1919 at Salem Hospital. She’s buried at Calvary Cemetery in Leetonia, Ohio.

Photo by Joe Lowry, May 2012.
Ana’s death explains the widower designation; when the census enumerator visited a year later, Joseph was a 25 year old widower with a son. In fact, the family of father and son had split up. Joseph moved to the industrial town of Chester, Pennsylvania to live with his brother and sister-in-law while Joseph, Jr. stayed in Leetonia to live with his grandparents and Ana’s brothers. 
Relationship to me:
Joseph McSweeney (1893 – 1963)
husband of:
Anastasia Lowry (1894 – 1919)
daughter of:
Michael Lowry (1868 – 1949)
father of:
Charles E. Lowry (1899 – 1975)
father of:
Charles J. Lowry (1924 – 2007)
father of:
Patrick E. Lowry
father of:
Joseph P. Lowry
State: Pennsylvania
County: Delaware
Enumeration District: 149
Sheet No.: 31
City/Township: Chester City
Ward: 11
Address: 1123 Keystone Road (map)
McSweeney, John D., head, home is Rented, male, white, 24 years old, married, is able to read and write, born in Ohio, father born in Ohio, mother born in Ohio, is able to speak English, blower at a furnace as a wage worker (hourly, instead of salaried).
”, Mary, wife, female, white, 24 years old, married, is able to read and write, born in Ohio, father born in Ohio, mother born in Ohio, is able to speak English, not employed.
”, Joseph C., brother, male, white, 27 years old, widower, is able to read and write, born in Ohio, father born in Ohio, mother born in Ohio, is able to speak English, chemist at a blast furnace as a wage worker (hourly, instead of salaried).
Joseph and Anastasia’s son Joseph Jr. was sent to live with his grandparent’s in Leetonia, Columbiana County, Ohio. Whether this was a short-term or long-term arrangement hasn’t revealed itself. What is known is that four generations of Lowry’s were now living in one household,  including three of my ancestors (in bold, below). Joseph Jr. is listed last on the census record.

State: Ohio
County: Columbiana
Enumeration District: 137
Sheet No.: 4B
City/Township: Salem Township, Leetonia Village
Address: 184
Lowry Jr., Michael, head, house Owned, Free without Mortgage, male, white, 49 years old, married, able to read and write, born in Pennsylvania, father born in Ireland (native tongue Irish), mother born in Ireland (native tongue Irish), is able to speak English. Trade or occupation listed as ‘none’.
”, Annie, wife, female, white, 50 years old, married, immigrated in 1873, Naturalized in 1877, able to read and write, born in Bavaria (Ger) (native tongue German), father born in Bavaria (native tongue German), mother born in German (native tongue German), is able to speak English. Trade or occupation listed as ‘none’.
”, Edward, son, male, white, 23 years old, single, able to read and write, born in Ohio, father born in Pennsylvania, mother born in Bavaria (Ger) (native tongue German), able to speak English, machinist in a machine shop.
”, Charles, son, male, white, 20 years old, single, has not attended school since Sept. 1, 1919, able to read and write, born in Ohio, father born in Pennsylvania, mother born in Bavaria (Ger) (native tongue German), able to speak English, chemist in a steel plant.
”, Raymond, son, male, white, 17 years old, single, has not attended school since Sept. 1, 1919, able to read and write, born in Ohio, father born in Pennsylvania, mother born in Bavaria (Ger) (native tongue German), able to speak English, apprentice in a machine shop.
”, Helen, daughter, female, white, 13 years old, single, has attended school since Sept. 1, 1919, able to read and write, born in Ohio, father born in Pennsylvania, mother born in Bavaria (Ger) (native tongue German), able to speak English, not employed.
”, Michael Sr., father, male, white, 89 years old, widowed, immigrated in 1849, Naturalized in 186*,  born in Ireland (native tongue Irish), father born in Ireland (native tongue Irish), mother born in Ireland (native tongue Irish), is able to speak English. Trade or occupation listed as ‘none’.
McSweeney, Jr., Joseph, grandson, male, white, 1 8/12 years old, single, born in Pennsylvania, father born in Ohio, mother born in Pennsylvania. Trade or occupation listed as ‘none’.
I don’t know what relationship father and son had after this or if they were yet to be reunited. A search of the 1930 and 1940 U.S. Census records is my next step. Stay tuned. There’s more to come!


Sources:
“Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1953,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/X8K4-8LN : accessed 27 Dec 2012), Anastasia Mcsweeney, 13 Feb 1919; citing Salem, Columbiana, Ohio, reference fn 8812; FHL microfilm 1984637.

“United States Census, 1920,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MFR5-3RF : accessed 27 Dec 2012), Joseph F Mcsweeney in household of John D Mcsweeney, , Delaware, Pennsylvania; citing enumeration district (ED) , sheet 31A, family 649, NARA microfilm publication T625, FHL microfilm 1821561.

“United States Census, 1920,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MDLY-931 : accessed 26 Dec 2012), Joseph Mcsweeney in household of Michael Lowry, , Columbiana, Ohio; citing enumeration district (ED) , sheet 4B, family 83, NARA microfilm publication T625, FHL microfilm 1821356.

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