Lets Talk About the 1920 Census
Hang on, let me do a commercial first. The 2020 census is important on many levels. It gives the federal government a hint of how many people they are dealing with these days. It gives state & small towns (like ours) an idea about what services they may need to provide for those same citizens. It serves many other functions but right now most of those don’t concern me.
But what do I care about? All the family info that can be gleaned from past census records. Let’s look at what I have found. I remember my Great Grandparent’s Adolph & Ida Limbach. They lived across the driveway from my Grandparent’s in the big house. I barely remember what they looked like. Ida wore long black dresses and sat in the corner, snoring away. Adolph sat in his straight back chair in the living room with his ear to the AM radio cabinet, listening to ball games. He encouraged me to bang on the piano for him. He was very deaf. And that is about all I knew. Until I started digging.
You start with yourself and start working backward with what you know. I am going to skip my Parents and Grandparents because I know a lot of info about them and I don’t want to bore you. I am going right to my Great Grandparents.
I know my Great Grandmother Ida M. Brinkman was born in Indiana. I found this in the 1920 Census. I also found that her Father was born in Germany and spoke German. Her Mother was reported to be born here in Indiana.
My Great Grandfather, Adolph Limbach was also born in Indiana. Both of his parents are listed as being born in Prussia and speaking German. He listed “carpenter” as his trade and that he was an “employer.” He owned his house free & clear. Some census list street and house numbers. This census taker, Harold Vansickle, listed streets. The Limbach family lived on Holzhausin road. I looked on old maps (all online at no cost) until I found that Holzhausin road. It is now 25th St between German Church and Mithoefer Rd.*
Now we start to find “other” info. I found Ida’s Certificate of Death on the Marion County Board of Health website. I now know she was born on October 6, 1879. She died September 5, 1961. Great Grandma is listed as living at RFD #11, Box554 when she died. The certificate list her parents as Henry C. F. Brinkman and Christiana Witte. Great Grandma Limbach died of Myocardial Failure and Senility due to Arteriosclerosis. I also know she is buried at St. John Cemetery in Cumberland. The certificate also lists Hendryx as the mortuary, so they may have other records too. James Garrison signed the death certificate which means at this point he has taken care of six generations of my family.
Now on to Great Grandpa Limbach. His Certificate of Death tells us he died when he was 88 years old. So you see by answering the census taker when asked, Adolph George Limbach and Ida Mary Brinkman Limbach have given their Great Grand daughter a gift of a glimpse into the past. Please leave something for your Great Grandchildren.old. His birthday was July 11, 1880 and his death was March 24, 1969. The information on the certificate was provided by his daughter, Lucile Kleiman** The address for GG Limbach is listed as 1216 N. German Church Rd. so now I know where RFD #11, Box554 is located. The cause of death is the same as GG Grandma Limbach, Myocardial Failure and Senility due to Arteriosclerosis. Weird huh?
*(There are soooo many ways to spell Mithoefer even between the family members)
**This tells me much needed information on my Great Aunt Lucile. Her Birth Certificate has her name spelled as “Lucile” She always signed her name as “Lucille.” When asked she said “That is the way my teacher taught me to write my name.”