So have you discovered cities directories as a great resource into your family history yet? I love them because you can really track people’s movements on the census off years. Take this page out of the 1924-1925 Hopkinton, RI city directory. It lists just about every adult with the last name of Wells in the town. Handy, no?
The first Wells listed is Dorothy Pauline, school teacher. She’s my Great Aunt and the only Wells of her generation I was ever able to meet. I love how it says she boards with W.R. Wells. That’s Williams Rogers Wells, her father. I’m assuming “Boards” implies she was paying Dad some rent. 🙂
The same is said of my Grandfather, Elliot Wells, boarding with dad. They must have taken this info for the directory before he got married in May 1925.
Williams, Dad, was probably about 70 when this directory went to press. It doesn’t list an occupation for him so I’ll assume he’d already retired from being a “manufacturer” as he was usually listed. He died the next year in 1926. I’d always heard that my grandfather Elliot and his wife Florence stayed living with him at the Wells House, taking care of him until Williams passed away. This seems to support that.
Strangely, the other son, my great-uncle Williams Jr. was not living in that BIG old house, but lived elsewhere with his wife. They moved to California at some point and from what I understand didn’t return very often to RI. For such a close-knit family, I’ve always found that odd.
So if you haven’t already looked, I highly recommend checking out these city directories. I’ve found them for every decent sized city when I’ve looked. Ancestry.com has a lot of them scanned and you can search for them easy enough.
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