Posts Tagged ‘547 East Charlton Lane’

The Gold Mine in the Closet: In Which We Look for Edith, Part 5

December 18, 2014

We drove by where Edith’s house used to be.

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And after we went home, we kept thinking about the Edith that we are looking for.

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We realize that we need to go back to the Library and look at a series of the Savannah City Directories.

So we do.  But it takes us a while. The blogging doesn’t show that we’ve been working on this project for over a month, probably closer to two. We are a bit obsessed with giving our Edith a last name, and finding out more about her.

We think her last name is Barnes.

So we look for Edith Barnes.

We start with 1940 because that’s when we find her on the U.S. Federal Census.

She’s not in the 1940 Savannah City Directory. So let’s guess that means that she wasn’t living there in 1939 when the information was gathered for publication in 1940. But when the 1940 census was taken actually in 1940, she was living there. Make sense?

We do find Leslie Basinger Lawton in 1940 living at 101 Huntingdon, West. We don’t know anything about her living on Huntingdon, so we’ll need to check that out.

1940 LawtonLeslieB 101 Huntingdon W

Here’s Edith in 1941 at 547 East Charlton Lane. She’s a maid for L. E. Orvin.

1941 BarnesEdith

 

Here’s Leslie Basinger Lawton in 1941.

1940 BarnesEdith

In 1942, Edith is still at 547 East Charlton Lane, and is still a maid for L. E. Orvin.

 

1942 BarnesEdith

 

By 1942, Leslie Basinger Lawton is at 122 East Taylor Street.

1942 LawtonLeslieB

 

In 1942, Louis E. Orvin is at 213 East Gaston Street.

1942 OrvinLE

 

Let’s jump to 1948. We’ve established that Edith Barnes is at 547 East Charlton Lane for years. We’ve learned that Leslie Basinger Lawton went from East Gaston to West Huntingdon to 122 East Taylor Street.

In 1948, Edith is at the same address.

1948 BarnesEdith

 

And so is Leslie Basinger Lawton.

1948 LawtonLeslieB

 

Let’s make a bold leap and jump into 1970, where we find Edith Barnes still at 547 East Charlton Lane. The times they are a’changing, and the city directory is not divided into a “white” section and a “colored” section any more.

1970 BarnesEdith

1970 LawtonLeslieB

We can’t find Edith in 1975.

When I get home, I check ancestry.com one.more.time. And I find a death record for Edith Barnes on November 27, 1969. I also find a death record for Edith Barnes in January 1969.

Is this a mistake? A typo? A glitch in the system?

Someone? Anyone?

The Gold Mine in the Closet: In Which We Look for Edith, Part 4

December 14, 2014

It feels like we’re getting close.

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This is Edith who worked for Sugar’s grandmother at the house at 122 East Taylor Street, Savannah, Georgia.

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We’re looking for more information about Edith. Sugar doesn’t even know her last name, but he knows that once his family drove her home, and it wasn’t far from his grandmother’s house. He has a vague, shadowy memory that it was east of his grandmother’s, perhaps between Price and East Broad, on an east/west street.

I found an entry on ancestry.com for Edith Barnes who lived at 547 East Charlton Lane, and that address fits exactly with his memory.

I can’t find a death record for Edith Barnes in Savannah, so perhaps she was buried back in South Carolina where she was born. Truly, I can’t find a death record anywhere, but this is not an obstacle, only a challenge.

East Charlton Lane doesn’t exist any more. We drove aroundaroundaround and couldn’t find it. If only we had a good map.

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I remembered that there are the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for Georgia, and, glory hallelujah, they are online. They are not user-friendly, so it involves a lot of panning left/right/up/down and zooming in to read the street names. And some cursage on my part.

I discovered that I can save the image to my computer for your viewing pleasure here on the blog.

Because I found East Charlton Lane on the map. The most recent one was for 1916, and there’s 547 East Charlton Lane.

BarnesEdith 547CharltonLane 1916

 

A little zoomage showing East Charlton Street. East Charlton Lane is just south.

A little zoomage showing East Charlton Street. East Charlton Lane is just south.

If the Edith that we want is truly the Edith that lived at 547 East Charlton Lane, we know that she most likely didn’t live here in 1916. She was born approximately in 1908 in South Carolina. It’s POSSIBLE that she moved here with her family.

And you know what, even if she’s not our Edith, she was SOMEBODY. She was a person that lived and died even if we can’t find her death record.

BarnesEdith 547CharltonLane1916 (zoom)

 

So it’s time to go by Edith’s house.

We find where East Charlton Lane should be, but it’s an alley now.

Right about where Edith’s house should be, there’s nothing.

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Except a sunbeam through the afternoon trees to say hello.

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Don’t give up, Edith. We’re still looking for you.

The Gold Mine in the Closet: In Which We Look for Edith, Part 3

December 13, 2014

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Here’s Edith.

She worked for Sugar’s grandmother until she was old enough to retire.

Sugar remembers that she was a great cook. He doesn’t remember her last name, or even if he ever knew her last name.

We think that we have found her as Edith Barnes by looking through the 1940 Federal Census on ancestry.com. She’s listed as living at 547 Charlton Lane, but we can’t find Charlton Lane. It doesn’t seem to exist any more.

I can scroll through all the pages of the Savannah City Directory by using ancestry.com, which is tedious, time-consuming work. We decide to go to the Library on Bull Street instead, and look at the directories in person.

There’s a genealogy/history room there. You don’t even have to sign in, unless you want to use the computers. I can take photos of the city directory pages using the digital camera.

We decide to randomly start with the 1957 volume. Sugar would have been old enough to remember Edith, and would remember that they drove her home once to an area east of his grandmother’s that would be close enough for her to walk.

And she’s still at 547 East Charlton Lane, which matches the 1940 census. There are two Edith Barnes, just like the 1940 census, but the second Edith Barnes lives at Fellwood Homes, and we don’t know where that is, so we’re still going with the first Edith Barnes as being our Edith.

While photographing the pages, I wrote the year, name, and address on a plain piece of paper and inserted it into the book, as a way to help me identify the photos during the editing process.

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I also used a handy little library pencil to help me locate the entry.

Then I cropped the photo for easier readability.

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His grandmother is still at 122 East Taylor Street, which is the only place Sugar remembers her living at.

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In the 1965 City Directory, both women are living at the same addresses as in 1957.

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Do you see how Leslie B. Lawton is listed at the Widow of Edward P. Lawton and residing at 122 East Taylor Street? Edward never even lived at this address. He died in 1929 when they were living at East Gaston Street.

Right about now we’re flagging, from the researching and the driving around. (We had a list of places that we went to that I haven’t shared with you yet, but it was a long list, and our heads are full.)

So what happened to 547 Charlton Lane? If only we had an old map.

Then I remembered the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps