My Parents Were Inmates

In the 1930 Census my parents are shown as inmates.  A fact about my parents I would never have known if I had not been researching my family.  But it’s not as bad as it may sound.  My parents were both orphans and grew up in Buckner Orphans Home in Dallas.  In the 1930 Census, they, along with all the other orphans, were listed as inmates instead of orphans.

You just never know what you may learn when you start researching your family.  You’re likely to learn some surprising things, and probably, you will go places and do things you would never have thought you would do.

When you start researching your family you may even go to such places as Monkstown or Saratoga, Texas.  You might even venture out of Texas to exotic places like Poteau, Oklahoma or Buena Vista, Georgia.  In the process you will likely visit numerous cemeteries and rummage through old records in courthouses.

Surprisingly, family research has a way of transforming all these activities into interesting adventures.  For example, in an effort to save a cemetery in Monkstown, Texas, I had to go to the courthouse in Bonham, the county seat, to see a judge who in turn got the sheriff after a property owner that claimed he owned the land of the cemetery.  The cemetery was saved and cleaned up, but the property owner doesn’t speak to me anymore.

Maybe you’re thinking you can do all your family research in the comfort of your home surfing on the Internet, and possibly submitting your DNA to connect with someone that can tell you about your family.  All this technology is helpful, but this too is likely to develop into more genealogical adventures.

My father entered Buckner Orphans Home at the age of eight years old.  He barely knew his father and never mentioned his grandfather.  By researching the census and other records on the internet, I thought I had figured out who my father’s grandfather was, but I wasn’t sure.  So I submitted my y-DNA and matched a man in Georgia who turned out to be a distant cousin.  With his help I was able to determine that my father’s grandfather had come to Texas after the Civil War and I located his grave in Milford, Texas, which is a little south of Waxahachie.  I was surprised to find that the headstone said he was a doctor.  But guess what?  When he came to Texas he left behind a family in Georgia and came to Texas with the younger sister of his wife back in Georgia.  When I contacted his descendants in Georgia, they were really surprised because they had been told he died in the Civil War.

Tags Orphan, Inmate, Family stories, Census


One thought on “My Parents Were Inmates

  1. The writer’s comment about family members from Fannin County interested me as much of our family was from that area. I’d like to connect with them if they are interested. Perhaps they are members of CH Genealogy and I’ll meet them at the next meetings.


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