Census Sunday: The 1950 U.S. Census has been released!

Federal law protects information collected in the United States Census for 72 years. How they came to that number is unknown, but it does mean that on April 1, 2022, the 1950 U.S. Census was released to the public. Each census occurs on a day, and the 1950 Census occurred on April 1, 1950. Even if the enumerator visited a house on April 4, the information collected was supposed to reflect April 1. If they visited on the 4th, and a newborn was born on April 2, they shouldn’t be included.

When the census was released on Archives.gov, they made available the individual sheets that were used to collect the data, also known as Form P1: 1950 Census of Population and Housing. It includes, among other things, a person’s address, name, age, race, sex, work status, occupation, and type of industry they worked. For many Baby Boomers born immediately after World War II, this is the first time they will appear in the census.

1950 U.S. Census for my uncle Chuck Lowry, my grandparents Chuck and Jean Lowry, and his parents, Charles and Mary Lowry (lines 22-26).

Enumeration District 100-16 in Ohio included the streets of Hanley, Zents, and Thornton, between Wick and Logan on Youngstown’s North Side. This district of just a few streets led to the creation of 21 pages of data by an enumerator who walked each street and spoke with a household member.

In 1950, my grandfather Chuck Lowry lived at 1437 Wick Ave with his wife Jean and their son, Charles. This was his first appearance in a census. Next door, at 1439 Wick, was Chuck’s parents, Charles E and Mary Lowry. They both lived next door to the McGoverns, at 1435, who would be lifelong friends. Interestingly, around the corner at 46 Hanley was the family of Clarence Lowry, but they are of no relation.

State: Ohio
County: Mahoning
Incorporated Place or Township: Youngstown
E.D. Number: 100-16
Date Sheet Started: April 1
Enumerators Signature: Howard Dilley
Checked By: R.E. Myelott on Apr 6, 1950
Sheet No. 3

Line 22
1427 Thornton
Dwelling 24
Not a farm and not on 3 or more acres

Lowry, Charles J, head, white, male, 25 years old, married, born in Ohio; works 40 hours a week as a special delivery messenger for the Post Office. Government employee.

” Mary J, wife, white, female, 25 years old, married, born in Ohio; keeping house, not working, not looking for work, does not have a job outside the home

” Charles J, son, white, male, Nov [born in Nov, meaning he was only 6 months old], never married, born in Ohio.

Line 25
1429 Thornton
Dwelling 25
Not a farm and not on 3 or more acres

Lowry, Charles E, head, white, male, 50 years old, married, born in Ohio; works as an analyst in the rolling steel mill. Private sector employee.

” Mary, wife, white, female, 47 years old, married, born in Pennsylvania; keeping house, not working, not looking for work, does not have a job outside the home


1950 U.S. Federal Census, Mahoning County, Youngstown, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 100-16, sheet 3, dwelling 24 and 25, households of Charles J. Lowry (24) and Charles E. Lowry (25); digital image, Archives.gov (https://1950census.archives.gov/ : accessed 1 Apr 2022).

Census Sunday – 1900 U.S. Census for Michael Lowry Jr. and Family

The 1910 Census record for Michael Lowry, Jr. and his family shows a family that was busy with school while the father worked in the coal mine. My great great grandfather Michael was 45 years old in 1910, working at least part time in the mine. He was out of work for 20 weeks in the preceeding year, but we don’t know is that was due to the unreliable work availability or perhaps a strike action that kept the men out of the mines. Mike’s wife, Annie, kept the home with six children. The oldest girls, Margaret and Anastasia, no doubt helped tend to the little ones. Otherwise, the family was busy with schoolwork. The five oldest were all in school, while the youngest, 4-year old Helen, was still at home.

State: Ohio
County: Columbiana
Township: Salem
Name of Incorporated Place: Leetonia
Ward of the City: North Precinct
Enumerated by me on the 16th of April
Thomas P. Samson, Enumerator

Supervisor’s District: 17
Enumeration District: 50
Sheet No. 3B

Dwelling No. 87
Family No. 84

Address: W. Main Street (no house number written)

Lowrey, Michael, head, male, white, 45 years old, 1st marriage, married 20 years. Born in Ohio. Father born in Ireland. Mother born in Ireland. Speaks English. Works as a coal miner. Is not out of work; out of work 20 weeks in 1909. Can read: Yes. Can write: Yes. Owns the home, but has a mortgage.

” Annie, wife, female, white, 40 years old, 1st marriage, married 20 years. 6 children born, 6 still living. Born in Germany. Father born in Germany. Mother born in Germany. Speaks English. Not employed. Can read: Yes. Can write: Yes.

” Margaret, daughter, female, white, 18 years old, single. Born in Ohio. Father born in Ohio. Mother born in Germany. Speaks English. Not employed. Can read: Yes. Can write: Yes. Attended school anytime since September 1, 1909: Yes.

” Anastatia, daughter, female, white, 16 years old, single. Born in Pennsylvania. Father born in Ohio. Mother born in Germany. Speaks English. Not employed. Can read: Yes. Can write: Yes. Attended school anytime since September 1, 1909: Yes.

” Edward, son, male, white, 13 years old. Born in Ohio. Father born in Ohio. Mother born in Germany. Speaks English. Not employed. Can read: Yes. Can write: Yes. Attended school anytime since September 1, 1909: Yes.

” Charles, son, male, white, 11 years old. Born in Ohio. Father born in Ohio. Mother born in Germany. Speaks English. Not employed. Can read: Yes. Can write: Yes. Attended school anytime since September 1, 1909: Yes.

” Raymond, son, male, white, 8 years old. Born in Ohio. Father born in Ohio. Mother born in Germany. Speaks English. Not employed. Can read: Yes. Can write: Yes. Attended school anytime since September 1, 1909: Yes.

” Helen, daughter, female, white, 4 years old. Born in Ohio. Father born in Ohio. Mother born in Germany. Speaks English. Not employed. Can read: No. Can write: No. Attended school anytime since September 1, 1909: No.

1910 U.S. Federal Census, Columbiana County, Salem, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 50 sheet 3B, dwelling 87, family 84, household of Michael Lowry; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 Feb 2022), FHL microfilm 1375175, citing NARA publication  T624_1162.

Photo of the Day – February 13, 2022

My grandpa Chuck Lowry (1924-2007) with his dear friends, Marion and Bob McDermott. Bob was a captain on the Youngstown Fire Department. Chuck was working for the Post Office. The Lowrys and McDermotts traveled quite a bit together. I have photos of several trips to Florida. I don’t know where this image was taken, but certainly has the feel of a historical site.

The Washingtonville Tavern


My Aunt Mary recently passed to my father a collection of family photos. While many were some I have seen before, this image was entirely new and entirely wonderful. On first glance, I didn’t recognize the setting or the vast majority of the men and boys, but two characters stood out. On the far left is my third great grandfather Michael Lowry and next to him stands my second great grandfather, also Michael Lowry in the white shirt and suspenders.

Upon showing the image to my dad and commenting how incredible it was, he stated that Michael (which one we don’t know) owned a tavern in Washingtonville, a small hamlet just a few blocks north of Leetonia in Columbiana County, Ohio.

I’ve searched a number of places to locate more information on this tavern, including studying Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, county directories, a history of Leisy Beer, and newspapers. Nothing about Michael Lowry indicated that he owned a tavern until I showed my dad the picture. I am unable to locate more but I know there’s a story here so I will keep digging!

The Washingtonville Tavern, photograph, taken in Washingtonville, Columbiana [or possibly Mahoning], Ohio, in early 1900s; digital image, scan of original, scanned in 2017 by Joseph Lowry; privately held by Patrick Lowry, [address for private use], Poland, Ohio; Five adult men and four young boys standing in front of tavern with Leisy Beer signs; Provenance is Michael Lowry to Charles Lowry to Mary McCaffrey to Patrick Lowry.

Remembrance Day: Thomas Foy

poppyIf the saying that “war is hell” is true, then the Battle of the Somme in World War I was the perfect example of this hell. On the first day of the battle, 1 July 1916, there were 57,000 casualties, and the battle would drag on until 18 November 1916. Within a week, the battle was at a standstill with Germans, French and British forces grinding it out in a maze of trench warfare.

It was at the end of the first week that the Monmouthshire Regiment was thrown into action as a pioneer regiment, which meant that they were to create the trenches and defensive positions used by the fighting force. Monmouthshire, Wales was a mining region, and the engineering skills of the miners-turned-soldiers made them well suited for the task. In this regiment was Thomas Foy, a 37-year old sergeant who had been called to serve.

Thomas was the brother of my great great grandmother, Bridget Foy Groucutt. While Bridget and several siblings immigrated to the United States, Thomas remained in England. On 5 June 1915, with the war well underway, he embarked to France with the 3rd Battalion, Monmouthshire Regiment.

They found themselves at the Somme in July 1916 under withering artillery fire. On 7 July 1916, on the front lines, Sergeant Foy found himself just a few feet from his company’s commanding officer, Captain J. Merton Jones, who wrote in the casualty report:

I believe [Thomas Foy] was killed as I saw a shell (believed to be a 5.9) pitch, as it appeared to me in the night,  full upon him. I was about 2 to 3 yards from him and a minute previously had been [?] to him. Sever others pitched in the same spot afterwards and then getting away the wounded, I could not find Foy then, nor afterwards, neither did any man or stretcher-bearer help him to any Dressing Station. I therefore believe he was killed.



My third-great-uncle Thomas Foy was killed at the Battle of the Somme on 7 July 1916, one of over 95,000 British soldiers to die on this French battlefield. He is buried at the Mill Road Cemetery in Thiepval, France.


“British Army WWI Service Records, 1914-1920,” images, Fold3 (https://www.fold3.com/image/510132225 : accessed 13 Nov 2016), record for Thomas Foy, 3rd Monmouthshire Regiment, page 325; National Archives of the UK, London, England.

Ralph Lowry: A Fisher(y) of Men

In my quest to document the life of Ralph Lowry, my first cousin, 3x removed and the U.S. Government’s chief engineer on many Western dam projects, I found this newspaper article posted above.

In part, it reads that in 1949, a plaque was placed at the Coleman National Fish Hatchery to recognize Ralph’s part in the creation of the fishery. Located about 35 miles from the Shasta Dam project that Ralph also built, the hatchery was created because the dam impacted the ability of the salmon to reach their natural spawning grounds.

Thanks to the power of the internet, I emailed Brett Galyean, the Acting Project Leader who runs the hatchery, to inquire about the plaque. He provided these two photos, showing the plaque next to the flag pole in front of the match hatchery building and a close-up.

My thanks to Brett for the extra effort. Another piece of Lowry history found!

“Plaque Honors S.M. Engineer,” The [San Mateo, CA] Times, 22 Dec 1949, pg 7, col 1; digital image, (http://www.newspapers.com : accessed 14 Aug 2016), Newspapers.com

Brett Galyean, Coleman National Fish Hatchery, Anderson, California, [e-mail for private use], to Joseph Lowry, 16 Aug 2016, “Plaque at Coleman Hatchery,” Local Folders: Genealogy : Lowry Genealogy; privately held by Joe Lowry, [e-mail &address for private use], Sterling, VA, 20165.

My cousin John R. Byrne in 1890

John R. Byrne is my 1st cousin, 4x removed. He was born in 1858 in Pennsylvania and died on 2 Oct 1932 in Everson, Fayette, Pennsylvania. This fascinating biography of the politician, newspaperman and entrepreneur  appeared in an 1890 printing of the “Biographical and Historical Cyclopedia of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.”


Hon. John R. Byrne. Celtic blood flowed in the veins of many prominent citizens of the United States who have been conspicuous alike on the battle-field and in the forum, and to-day many of that blood and race throughout Pennsylvania hold and have held important public offices of trust and honor. One of the latter class is John R. Byrne, ex-member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. He is the son of John L. and Mary (Lowry) Byrne and was born at Barnettstown, Carbon township, Huntingdon county, Pa., April 23, 1858.

John L. Byrne (father) was born in county Meath, Ireland, reared in the city of Dublin and as a participant in the Irish Rebellion of 1847 and ’48 found is necessary to immigrate in the latter year to Pennsylvania, where he located at Hollidaysburg. He was a brakes-man and railroad conductor for several years; a contractor on the Broad Top railroad and engaged in hotel keeping at Barnettstown and Everson, Pa. At the latter named place he died January 16, 1883 aged fifty-four years. He was a delegate to the first General Assembly meeting of the Knights of Labor ever held in America, which convened in 1887 at Reading, Pa., and was treasurer of the Miners’ and Laborers’ Benevolent Association during its palmiest days. When the attempted Fenian invasion of Canada from the United States occurred it found an ardent advocate in Mr. Byrne, who was an active member of the Fenian Brotherhood. He raised a company to join the Fenian army of invasion but it was never called into service, as the Fenian forces were dispersed without much fighting.

John R. Byrne attended the common schools of Huntingdon county, Pa., till thirteen years of age. He then entered a coal mine as a trapper boy for which he received thirty-seven and one-half cents per day ; he was soon transferred to driving and shortly afterwards engaged in digging, and remained in the latter employment until he attained his majority. In 1873 he moved with his father to Everson, Fayette county. In 1878, he migrated to Leadville, Colorado, where he remained one year and returned east as far as Pittsburgh, where he was married. In 1880 he returned to Everson, Fayette county, Pa., and resumed mining in which he continued until the great labor strike of 1881. He was made president of the organization that controlled and conducted the above strike and during its progress established the Miner’s Record, which he conducted for eighteen months and then changed the name to that of Scottdale Independent. In 1885 W.N. Porter became a partner with him in the newspaper business and in 1886 they disposed of the Independent to Hiram B. Strickler, who sold it in 1887 to a joint stock company which employed Mr. Byrne as editor. After eight months editorial service he returned on account of his eyesight becoming affected. On July 17, 1889, he became editor of the Tribune Press, of Scottdale, which he continues to edit as a republican editor. It is a four-page folio of thirty-two columns and is principally devoted to local news and labor interests. In December, 1887, he formed a partnership with his brother, Arthur P. Byrne, in the boot and shoe business at Scottdale under the form name of John R. Byrne & Co. They have built up a large trade and carry a full and well-assorted collection of boots and shoes. In 1886, he was elected from Fayette county to a seat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. He had a majority of 696 votes in a county that was strongly democratic prior to 1886, and was the first republican elected to the Legislature from that county since 1874. He served in the session of 1887-8 and was a member of five important committees. In 1888 he was a candidate for re-election but was defeated in the Republican party and opposition from coke operators.

On July 3, 1880, he was united in marriage to Joanna Lynch, daughter of John Lynch, of Everson. To this union have been born three children: Henry W., Arthur L. and Florence E.

He is a member of Scottdale Conclave, No. 172, Independent Order of Heptasophs. In religion he is a Roman Catholic and a republican in politics. Mr. Byrne has ever labored in the interests of his political party and given largely of his time for the advancement of its aims. He resides just across the Westmoreland county line, at Everson, in Fayette county, Pa., but carries on his business in Scottdale.; has been identified with the interests of that borough for nearly ten years. He has for many years been one of the labor leaders of southern Pennsylvania and a recognized authority on labor subjects with many workingmen.

Wiley, Samuel T., Biographical and Historical Cyclopedia of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, (Westmoreland, Pennsylvania, Dunlap and Clarke, 1890), 232; digital images, Google Books (http://books.Google.com : accessed 30 Jul 2016).

Dead or Alive? It Depends!


This notice from the Youngstown Vindicator was probably not too reassuring for anyone who may have circling the drain on April 1, 1930. While your vital signs indicated you were dead, the Federal government was willing to give you a few extra days.

As the Vindicator reported on 30 March 1930, anyone who died between April 1 and the time the census taker (more properly, the “enumerator”) arrived at the home was counted as being alive. Likewise, anyone who was born after April 1 but before the enumerator came to the home, often weeks later, was not counted. The enumerator’s instructions would have read, “Enter the name of every person whose usual place of abode on April 1, 1930, was with the family or in the dwelling place for which the enumeration is being made.” By counting everyone who was living on April 1, the Census would more accurately reflect a single day in time.

“Census Will Count You As Alive If You Die April 1”, Youngstown [OH] Vindicator, 30 Mar 1930, page A2, col 4; digital image, (http://news.google.com : accessed 17 May 2016), Google News Archive.

Steven Ruggles, Katie Genadek, Ronald Goeken, Josiah Grover, and Matthew Sobek. Integrated Public Use Microdata Series: Version 6.0 [Machine-readable database], “1930 Census: Enumerator’s Instructions,” Minneapolis : University of Minnesota, 2015.

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday


Howdy partner! This was Halloween 1987. I was the coolest gunslinger on the Northside of Youngstown (and in the 80’s, Youngstown had more than a few gunslingers) and my sister was a princess (she still is). My vest was homemade by my mom, from a pattern that she bought. The cowboy hat was loaned to me from my mom’s friend, Shirley Morrison. I disctintly remember the Halloween parade at Saint Edward School where the elementary school kids paraded around the classrooms of the upper grades. My costume was a huge hit with the 8th grade girls. I have a hard time believing that today you could get away with taking a pair of cap guns into school.

Caroline Lowry [Nagy] and Joseph P. Lowry, photograph, taken in Youngstown, Ohio, around Halloween 1987; digital image, photocopy of original, scanned in 2015 by Joseph Lowry; privately held by Rebecca Lowry, [address for private use], Poland, Ohio; Two children in Halloween costumes of cowboy and princess; Provenance is Rebecca Lowry to Joseph Lowry.