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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Family Tree Firsts is up: The case of the two George Bennetts

George Bennett in the BronxMy next post from Family Tree Firsts is up!  The picture is one of my favorites.  George Sr. and George Jr. near the home in 1900 (1965 Webster Ave, New York) today a grocery store in the Bronx.

To put it lightly I wanted to bang my head against the wall doing this research on more than one occasion, and I even traced back the wrong family for 3 months because of it.  Bound to happen a couple times right?

How could George Bennett and his brother-in-law Alton Taylor be enumerated two times in the 1920 census?  My two best guesses are that they were visiting George's parents the day the Census taker came and were enumerated as being at the house.  Or one family enumerated the sons as living with them not realizing they were only supposed to state the names of the people in the house on the census date.  Weird, but my best guess.  Hence the reason I listed my sources at the end.  If anyone has a better idea I am all ears!

From the census I know that George and Ruby lived at 23 Harbison Ave, Hartford, CT and were enumerated on January 7th.  George and Augusta lived at 45 Summer St, Hartford, CT and were enumerated on January 6th.  I plugged it into Google Maps and it is only a little less than 4 miles apart.  Not right next door, but easy to get to via public transportation or driving.  Benjamin and Annie Taylor (enumerated January 12th) lived on their farm in Coventry Connecticut about 20 miles away

Doing a little digging I found the address (56 Arbor Street) for the Underwood Typewriter Factory.  It is not far from where the George's live, which makes sense that Alton would live in Hartford and not travel 20 miles into town, in 1920, to work at the factory.  Today the old factory is the home of Real Art Ways.

I also discovered this NY Times Article from August 11, 1919 during my searching that announced the closure of the Hartford, Connecticut Underwood Typewriter Company plant due to strikes.  It must have been back up and running again by the time the Census was taken in January 1920.  The best find of all has to be this image of the inside of the typewriter factory.  I can't believe I didn't find it before! 

Off to find more discoveries!!


  1. Thank you for sharing. I did not know about the closing of the Underwood factory in Hartford, but it corresponds with the timing of my own family (employed by Underwood) moving from Hartford to Bridgeport.

  2. You are welcome! I am so glad I was able to give you a clue in your family quest!!