Tracking the Andrew Jackson Pace Family in Rural Depression Era Texas, 1930 and 1940 US Censuses

Ray Pace and Leo Pace, 1940s
Roy (left) and younger brother Leo, 1940s.1
I wrote a couple days ago about trying to identify the birth place of my husband’s grandfather Roy Delmar Pace (1913-2000) before I visit Roy’s home state of Texas next month.

In that post, I analyzed the 1930 U.S. census record that places Roy, his parents, and most of his siblings on a farm in rural Hockley County, Texas.

I also mentioned that this census analysis raises some questions about Roy’s parentage:

  • whether he was simply born before his parents Andrew Jackson Pace and Laura Mae Fields married,
  • if Roy might be Laura’s child from a previous marriage,
  • or if the census just contains wrong ages and math?

Planning My Texas Research

I am focusing most of my current research work on my husband’s Texas ancestry, in preparation for a trip I am taking to Texas in late October. If I get any time at the state archives, I need to make the most of that brief time, tackling records that can only be researched in-person, versus what I can access online from home or at the Family History Library.

The Initial Research Question

As stated in my last post, my first research question is who were the parents of Roy D. Pace, father of Betty Pace (deceased) and grandfather to my husband Jeff Greene?

The Prerequisite Research Question

Because I cannot find a single record that documents a specific place–even just the county–where Grandpa Roy was born, I have to track and trace the movements of Roy’s parents in an attempt to narrow down the geographic scope in which to search for sources that might shed some light on Roy’s place of birth. This means building a timeline for the family, identifying dates and places associated with the oldest children prior to the family moving away from their childhood farm in rural Texas.

But to do that, I have to first identity Roy’s siblings–their names, birth dates, and places of birth, which took a few days to tackle. Not all children appear to have birth certificates. Some who do have birth certificates were initially recorded with no given name (I only find one amended certificate so far). Plus some of the children going by a different given name on later records.

This prerequisite research question is, who are the siblings of Roy Delmar Pace, where were they born and when?

The 1930 U.S. Census

This census serves as my information baseline to answer the above research question. I spent quite a bit of time in my last post analyzing it, so I will not repeat that same data here, aside from names and ages. The 1930 U.S. census identifies 8 children attributed to head of household Andrew J. Pace.2

Andrew Jackson Pace Household 1930 US Census
The family on the 1930 U.S. census, in Hockley County, Texas.
Name Gender Birth Date Birth Place
1) Ray [Roy] Pace Male Est. 1914 (age 16) Texas
2) Dollie Pace Female Est. 1916 (age 14) Texas
3) Irene Pace Female Est. 1918 (age 12) Texas
4) Huland Pace Male Est. 1920 (age 10) Texas
5) Willie Pace Female Est. 1922 (age 8) Texas
6) Leo Pace Male Est. 1924 (age 6) Texas
 7) Ray Earl Pace Male Est. 1926 (age 4) Texas
 8) Ladell Pace Male Est. 1928 or 1929
(age 1 year, 4 months)

The 1940 U.S. Census

I am using the 1940 U.S. census as the termination point for this Pace childhood timeline, since it combined with the 1930 U.S. census provides a snapshot look back in time at biographical details about every member of this family. More robust stories about some of these family members will appear in later posts.

Great-Grandfather Andrew Jackson Pace can be found on the 1940 U.S. census, still farming and living on rented property in rural Hockley County, Texas. Five children live with him, including two sons born after the 1930 census, bringing the total number of children to ten.3

Andrew Jackson Pace Household, 1940 US Census
The main family on the 1940 U.S. census, in Hockley County, Texas.
Name Gender Birth Date Birth Place
 6) Leo Pace Male Est. 1924 (age 16) Texas
 7) Ray Earl Pace Male  Est. 1926 (age 14) Texas
 8) Ladell pace Male Est. 1929 (age 11) Texas
 9) Wayne Pace Male Est. 1931 (age 9) Texas
 10) Jack Pace  Male Est. 1933 (age 7) Texas

Andrew Jackson and all of the boys, except Jack, are noted as living in the same locality (but not in the same house) on a farm back on 1 April 1935. The 1940 U.S. census required that enumerators ask the place of residence on 1 April 1935  for every person 5 years of age or older, yet there is no notation at all written down for 7 year-old Jack, so it is not possible to tell if Jack lived with his father and brothers in 1935 or lived someplace else (such as with one of his older married sisters).4

  • 6) Leo: Attending school, 5th grade highest grade completed, not employed.
  • 7) Ray Earl: Attending school, 6th grade highest grade completed, not employed.
  • 8) Ladell: Attending school, 3rd grade highest grade completed.
  • 9) Wayne: Attending school, 2nd grade highest grade completed.
  • 10) Jack: Attending school, no grades yet completed.

What is Different?

A look at the change in household membership since the 1930 U.S. census.

Who is Missing?

A number of family members are missing from the household by this time.

  • May/Laura Mae Fields (wife): Andrew Jackson is identified as a widow, so the logical assumption is that his wife Laura Mae Fields died sometime between the two census dates, but after the estimated 1933 birth of youngest child Jack Pace.5 Laura Mae is indeed deceased by this time, but that is a topic for the next post in my Pace series.
  • 1) Roy Pace (son): Roy (26 years old, born about 1914) is living in New Mexico at this time, in Lordsburg, Hidalgo County, where he works as a miner. His residence is not on a farm. Roy is married to my husband’s grandmother Rebecca Haley (a nurse), their one month old son Larry and a lodger/fellow miner named Joseph Galoway are living with the couple. Roy lived in the same locality on 1 April 1935 (not the same exact residence), but his wife Rebecca still lived back in Nashville, Tennessee at the time, indicating they probably married after that date. Roy is noted as having completed one year of college.6
  • 2) Dollie Pace (daughter): Dollie (24 years old, born about 1916) is living in nearby Levelland, Hockley County, Texas, but not on a farm. She is married, and the couple lives with her husband’s father and sisters. All household members lived on a farm in rural Hockley County, Texas on 1 April 1935. Her husband worked as a cook at a cafe. Dollie is noted as having completed the third year of high school.7
  • 3) Irene Pace (daughter): Irene, the daughter who should be about 22 years old in 1940 is also deceased by this time, but unlike her mother’s death (which can be inferred from Andrew’s 1940 status as a widow), Irene’s death cannot be inferred from her absence in the 1940 census. Her story will also be shared in the next Pace series post.
  • 4) Huland/Hulon Pace (son): Hulon (20 years old, born about 1920) is living in nearby Littlefield, Lamb County, Texas, with his wife and infant son. They reside with Hulon’s wife’s family. Hulon is employed as a truck driver, and indicates he lived in rural Lamb County, Texas, on a farm (not the same place as his wife and her family) on 1 April 1935. Hulon is noted as having completed the first year of high school. 8
  • 5) Willie Mae Pace (daughter): Willie Mae  (18 years old, born about 1922) is living further southwest in Williamson County, Texas, with her husband and their infant son. They reside on a rented farm, and her husband is a farmer. Willie Mae and her husband both lived on a farm in Hockley County, Texas, on 1 April 1935. She is noted as having completed the first year of high school.9

Who is New?

Family members who joined the household since the 1930 U.S. census.

  • 9) Wayne Pace (son): Born about 1931.
  • 10) Jack Pace (son): Born about 1933.

Back to the Research Question

My research question–Who are the siblings of Roy Delmar Pace, where were they born and when?–cannot be answered from these two census records alone, in a manner that meets the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS). More records and analysis are needed.

Roy Pace and Siblings, 1961
The Pace siblings, 1961.
Bottom Row (L-R): Ladell, Dollie, Willie Mae, Roy Delmar.
Top Row (L-R): Ray Earl, Jack, Hulon.10

The Pace Siblings

Based upon these census records, ten children are attributed to Andrew Jackson Pace:

  1. Roy Delmar Pace (son).
  2. Dollie Pace (daughter).
  3. Irene Pace (daughter).
  4. Huland/Hulon Pace (son).
  5. Willie Mae Pace (daughter).
  6. Leo Pace (son).
  7. Ray Earl pace (son)
  8. Ladell Pace (son).
  9. Wayne pace (son).
  10. Jack Pace (son).

The census records cannot, however, tell us if Laura Mae Fields was the mother of the children, since these two censuses only specify a relationship to the head of household–which was Laura Mae’s husband Andrew Jackson. We can only infer at this point in the research process that Laura Mae was the mother. As with the actual research question, more sources and analysis are needed to establish the parentage of the ten children.

Roy Pace and Siblings, 1991
The Pace Siblings, 1991. (L-R) Willie Mae, Jack, Roy Delmar, Dollie, and Hulon.11
Establishing and proving the parentage of Roy’s siblings, is not part of this research question and plan, so I will not go into that in posts about Grandpa Roy’s ancestry. The dates and places of birth of the older children, however, can help me narrow down a geographic scope for where in Texas my husband’s Grandpa Roy might have been born.

Working Timeline

Tracking and tracing the movements and life events of the Pace siblings is a very helpful tool for identifying sources that can answer the research question. At this point, the timeline reflects the information provided by just the two census records: which family member, what life event, on what date, where it happened, and how we know (which source, F = footnote/citation).

When What Who Where How
About 1912 1st Marriage Laura Mae Fields probably  Texas F2
About 1914 Birth Roy Delmar Pace Texas F2, F6
About 1916 1st Marriage Andrew Jackson Pace probably Texas F2
About 1916 Birth Dollie Pace Texas F2, F7
About 1918 Birth Irene Pace Texas F2
About 1920 Birth Huland/Hulon Pace Texas F2, F8
About 1922 Birth Willie Mae Pace Texas F9
About 1924 Birth Leo Pace Texas F2, F3
About 1926 Birth Willie Mae Pace Texas F2
About 1926 Birth Ray Earl Pace Texas F2, F3
About 1929 Birth Ladell Pace Texas F2, F3
14 April 1930 Residence Andrew Jackson Pace
Laura Mae Fields
Roy Pace
Dollie Pace
Irene Pace
Huland Pace
Willie Pace
Leo Jackson
Ray Earl Pace
Ladell Pace
Hockley County, Texas F2
About 1931 Birth Wayne Pace Texas F3
About 1933 Birth Jack Pace Texas F3
1933-1940 Death Laura Mae Fields probably Texas F2, F3
1 April 1935 Residence Andrew Jackson Pace
Leo Pace
Ray Earl Pace
Ladell Pace
Wayne Pace
Jack Pace
Hockley County, Texas F3
Roy Delmar Pace Lordsburg, Hidalgo County, New Mexico F6
Dollie Pace Hockley County, Texas F7
Hulon Pace Hunt County, Texas F8
Willie Mae Pace Hockley County, Texas F9
4 April 1940 Residence Hulon Pace Littlefield, Hunt County, Texas F8
11 April 1940 Residence Andrew Jackson Pace
Leo Pace
Ray Earl Pace
Ladell Pace
Wayne Pace
Jack Pace
Hockley County, Texas F3
13 April 1940 Residence Willie Mae Pace Williamson
County, Texas
17 April 1940 Residence Dollie Pace Levelland, Hockley County, Texas F7
7 May 1940 Residence Roy Delmar Pace Lordsburg, Hidalgo County, New Mexico F6