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Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Few Socorro Families in 1940

The 1940 census shows us that the post-Crespin and Andreita generation living in the town of Socorro included: Lola and her husband, Vivian Stapleton; Ignacio Torres, and his wife, Andrellita, who were empty-nesters; and Apolonio Torres, who was living with the family of his son, Luis.

It’s been 72 years since that April census was taken, yet some questions seem a little too personal even now.

Reportedly, many people at the time bristled about the census question regarding the previous year’s income. Looking back, you can see disparity in work opportunities. Some in our family had only worked a few weeks in the previous year and others said they worked the full 52 weeks of 1939. None of these Socorro households was considered a farm.

Here are a few notes about these families, who can be found in Enumeration District 27-1 in the first 31 pages. Names of known living relatives are not included here. Relatives in other areas of the nation – particularly California – will be written about in future posts.

As expected, Rogerio Torres’ family was living on Mt. Carmel Avenue in Crespin’s former house, although the 1940 census taker didn’t use addresses. The census states that the family headed by Clara Torres owned the house that was worth $500. (Rogerio had died in Nov. 1934). The children were Annie, Susie and Rogerio Jr. (A circled X next to Clara’s name notes that she was the person who answered the census taker’s questions.)
And as we expected, there was a Luna family living next door.

Next on the census taker’s path was the Stapleton house. Vivian Stapleton was a merchant of his own store. The house of Vivian’s and Lola’s was worth $2,000. He had worked 52 weeks in the previous year, and he had worked 72 hours the previous week of March 24-30. Lola was the one answering the census taker’s questions and she didn’t give an indication of their income.




Note the picture above of the Stapleton house – taken in 2010. The house is in the same spot as it was back in 1940, but the current owners have added an adobe-style wall in front of the home and painted it bright colors.


On another street, Ignacio’s wife Andrellita answered the census questions. She said they were ages 63 and 54, respectively, and that Ignacio worked as a carpenter 20 weeks of the previous year. They owned their $200 home. Ignacio’s name fell on a line that required the couple to answer supplemental questions. From that, we note that both of Ignacio’s parents were born in New Mexico and that the family’s native tongue was Spanish. No other supplemental questions were answered, however.


Farther away but still in the town of Socorro is the family of Luis Torres. (Luis and his father, Apolonio, had been living in Los Angeles, California, at the time of the 1930 census. But in 1940, they were back in Socorro). Luis was married to Petra – who was the respondent to the census questions. She said Luis’ father, Apolonio, was 67. Apolonio is listed as married, not widowed. He was a carpenter who had worked only 2 weeks in 1939. Petra said that Luis was also a carpenter and her family was living in the same place in 1935 where they currently lived. But that line – regarding 1935 residency – was left blank for Apolonio. The children of Luis and Petra are: Andrellita, Viola, Luis Jr. and Gloria.

As for Ignacio’s children’s families:

Mt. Carmel Avenue also was the home of Atanacio Lujan and his wife, Margarita, and two of their sons. Also living nearby were the young couple Anastacio Torres and wife, Piedad. Robert B. Baca and his wife, Teresa, lived on Terry Street and had two sons. Joe M. Torres and wife, Tomasita, had their first three children.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting this, cousin. I've looked at the 1940 census a little, but haven't had a whole lot of time to analyze it correctly. I noticed that you mentioned a few people who I wouldn't have even thought of looking for. Thanks for finding our family in 1940 for us.

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