Ancestry.com is offering free access to the 1930 U.S. census this weekend. I checked my father’s side of the family.
The family consisted of Mike (head), Frances (wife), Barbarita (she was Auntie Bobbie to us), Mike (son), Josephine (Aunt Feena), Joe (my dad), and daughter Mary. They owned their house at 904 I Street in Antioch; it was valued at $2500. In the parlance of the day, they were white. My grandfather was 45 and my grandmother 35, with the kids ranging from 3 5/12 to 11. When they were married, my grandparents were 27 and 17. All of the kids except Mary were in school; the parents, along with Bobbie and Mike Jr. could read and write. The parents, obviously, were born in Spain, the kids in California, and the parents (again obviously) spoke Spanish before coming to the U.S.
My grandparents immigrated to the United States in 1913 (I assume this means Hawaii). Here’s something I don’t quite understand. Under “Whether able to speak English”, my grandparents get a “no”, the two oldest kids get a “yes”, and the three youngest kids have that one left blank. (My dad was five years old at the time … I assume he spoke something.)
My grandfather worked as a “yard man” at the paper mill. My grandmother worked as a “packer” at the cannery.
Two other families lived on I Street. One was a mother with four daughters and a son. The mother was from Portugal; the oldest daughter was born in Massachusetts, the other kids in California. The mother worked in the cannery, the oldest daughter at the paper mill. The other family was a young married couple with two small children. The husband’s mother also lived at the house. All of the adults were from Spain; the husband worked at the paper mill.
There are a few entries from other neighbors on the particular page that includes my family, with six family listings. In every case but two, the kids were born in California. The husbands and wives were from: Spain/Spain, Mexico/Mexico (two of their four kids were also born in Mexico), Spain/Spain, Mexico (husband had died, eldest son born in Arizona), Austria/Spain, and Spain/Spain. One house had a lodger, also Spanish, who worked at the rubber mill with the head of the family.
You can see why it seemed as I was growing up that there was this small neighborhood in town with a bunch of old Spaniards.
All of the heads of these nine total families (seven men, two women) had jobs. Five of the wives/mothers had jobs, as did one daughter. Their “industry” (i.e. work places) were paper mill, cannery, rubber mill, ranch, steel mill, and farm.
For comparison purposes, I checked out my mom. She was two years old at the time; her younger sister hadn’t been born yet, her parents were 30 and 26 (24 and 20 when they got married). Her dad was from Tennessee, her mom from Kentucky. My grandfather worked as a Mechanical Engineer.
They owned their house at 1522 Buena Avenue in Berkeley, which was valued at $5500. 1522 Buena Avenue is less than two miles from where I live now.