Biggie Shell, Part Three

Clever reader Leo has made a discovery about Biggie Shell.  Leo found Biggie on the 1910 census with Lena and 6 children.  (Click on Leo’s name and check out his blog.) 

Actually I found the same record, but was too busy yesterday transporting kittens and taking photos in the Robert (Roe-BARE) cemetery to update the blog, and Leo gets BIG props for his find. 

Biggie Shell’s 1910 census in Roane County, Tennessee.


And for the LilSis, she (and anyone else) can left-click on the image to enlarge, then left-click one more time to enlarge even Biggie-er. 

This is so impossible for me to imagine that computer software can read and translate this faded henscratching into words.  See if you can find Biggie and Lena and their six children. 

Did I mention, or did you compute, that when Biggie and Lena were married in 1899, Lena was 15 years old?  And 11 years later on this 1910 census, she was 26 with six children?  And in 1915 when Biggie died, she was left a widow with 6 children ages 14 and younger?  That is, unless she gave birth to more children between 1910 and Biggie’s death in 1915.  Staggers the mind, doesn’t it.  No bottles, no disposable diapers, probably no electricity or running water, no indoor toilets, should I go on?  Your mind can probably add to this list quite easily.

On that note, I certainly have no reason to complain about anything.


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4 Responses to “Biggie Shell, Part Three”

  1. TheBarnTales Says:

    Holy moly. I am 28 with three children. I get super stressed out and want to have a pity party about how tough life can get… I will file this away mentally to pull out when I catch myself moping!


    • ruthrawls Says:

      Life IS tough, and everyone has stress. But Lena might have had two or three more children from 1910-1915, and I just can’t wrap my mind around that kind of stress.


  2. RG Says:

    I don’t know if you will see this but Biggie was my great grandfather and have information about his family.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ruthrawls Says:

      Hello, RG, and welcome to the blog! If you would like to write a little history about your great-grandfather, I’ll publish it here on the comment section and/or a guest post. Let me know.


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