G – Graham’s in the 1950 Census

This is my ninth year of blogging the A to Z Challenge. Everyday I will share something about my family’s life during 1950. This was a year that the USA federal census was taken and the first one that I appear in. At the end of each post I will share a book from my childhood collection. Click images to enlarge.

Abbie Allen

The Graham’s in the 1950 Census I wrote this two years ago. Let’s see what I got right and what I got wrong. I over-estimated his yearly salary which was not $3,200 but $2,900. He had worked 42 weeks during the past year not the 52 I had him working. Aunt Abbie was indeed 75 years old and sharing their home.

I answered more questions than were asked because certain questions were only asked to one member of the household. I was right about the family possibly being enumerated as white instead of Negro based on their looks. And I knew that my grandfather was not a veteran. Pretty good average, I think.

Census Sheet from 1950 Census Archives. Some people were asked extra questions. The red line leads from those family members to the extras. Click to enlarge.
Our August 1950 Visit. Barbara Elkins, my grandfather Mershell, Kris(me), Dee Dee Elkins, Grandmother Fannie.

In 1950, my maternal grandfather, Mershell C. Graham worked at Ford Motor Company. He was 62 years old. Up until 1949, there was on pension program for workers in the auto factories. Up until that point people worked as long as they could because they couldn’t afford to retire. In that year the UAW and Ford Motor Co. came to an agreement about retirement payments. Workers would now receive $100 a month, which included their social security payments. My grandfather retired in December 1953 when he reached 65. His Social Security payment was $85.00 so Fords would add $15 and bring it up to $100 a month. April 1, 1950 was the date the company began making deposits into the account that would fund those payments.

Gaston and Josephine, another favorite.

Two little pigs make an exciting journey across France to catch a steamer to the USA. You can see all the illustrations at this National Museum of American History Site -> Gaston and Josephine.

6 thoughts on “G – Graham’s in the 1950 Census

  1. It never ceases to amaze me at how small salaries were back then. I realize that “things” cost less back then, too. I love reading about your family.

    1. Things did cost less and people made do a lot more. They had a big garden and chickens in the back, right in Detroit. They walked or took the bus, only using the car for church and distances. Cooked from scratch. Did they ever eat out? My mother mentions her aunt took her out for sundaes on her birthday. Paid for their house and had money in the bank.

    1. I love the censuses. When pulling up those from before my time, I always wonder what else was going on and if they got anything wrong.

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