1920 Census Data

The 1920 census lists John Haggerty, age 35, as a coal miner (“runs motor”), and indicates that his father was born in Ireland and spoke Irish at home.   John and Winifred Haggerty (31, a naturalized US citizen) are living with their children Mary 4 and John 2.  Winifred’s father and brother, Thomas Frain and Thomas Jr., both mine laborers, are listed as boarders in their house in Crabtree, Unity Township, Westmoreland County.  Thomas Frain Sr.’s native language is said to be Irish.


There are several problems with the 1920 census data for John Haggerty and family.  First, the 1920 census mistakenly indicates that John Haggerty’s mother was Irish and spoke Irish, whereas Mary Castles Haggerty was born in PA, as documented in earlier census records.  Second, Winifred Frain Haggerty’s age is cited as 31, though she was born the same year as her husband, who is 35.  Third, Winifred is erroneously said to have arrived in the States in 1910 rather than 1913.  The census taker seems to have listed 1910 as a generic entry date for almost everyone in the area.


The 1920 census also lists Michael Haggerty as living in Crabtree.  Michael, age 42, is now widowed and is working as a machinist in a coal mine.  He is living with his sisters Elizabeth (age 56, single) and Kathryn McCann (age 40, widowed, a cashier in the Coal Co. Store).  He is also living with his children: James 11, Margaret 9, Mary 6, and Thomas 4 ½, all of whom lost their mother at a very young age.  Michael’s wife Annie died in 1917 (possibly in childbirth), as did their infant son Michael Jr.  Both are buried in Calvary Hill Cemetery in Crabtree, as are Michael Sr. (d. 1945), Margaret (d. 1981), Mary (d. 1996), and Michael’s sister Elizabeth (d. 1941).  James, who became Father Donald (d. 1970), is buried at St. Vincent’s Benedictine Seminary in nearby Latrobe, PA; Thomas is buried in Arizona.


In 1920 Hugh, age 38, is in McAdoo, working as an engineer at a coal mine.  His first wife, Bridget, has apparently died, and he is now married to Cecelia, 30, a PA-born woman who apparently has a daughter, Theresa, age 9, by a previous marriage.


Curiously, Hugh’s father is said to have been born in Scotland and to have spoken Irish, and his mother to have been born in Ireland and spoken Irish.  I’m thinking that Cecelia may have answered the census-taker’s questions in this round and was a bit confused about Hugh’s parentage.  This view is supported by the fact that in 1920, Theresa is identified as a “daughter,” whereas in 1930, when I think Hugh answered the questions, she is said to be a “niece.”

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