I am pretty much a novice at this stuff but am very anxious to trace my family mostly so I can share a heritage with my two sons. I believe they are entitled to that even if some of the history might be a little shocking. I do not know the complete accuracy of all of this however this is what I have come up with so far:
Stephen L. LeCompte (my Great Grandfather) b: September 1870 (29) in Maryland appears in the 1900 Baltimore, Maryland census as living at house number 10 on Monroe Street, Block A. His wife is Annie A. (no maiden name) b: July 1871 (28). They have been married for 7 years so I am assuming that they were married sometime between July 1892 and March 1893 which would likely mean that anything after October 1892 would mean that their first child was either pre-mature or Annie was a few months pregnant when they married. They have 3 children: Walter S. b: August 1893 (6); Lucilia G. b: March 1895 (5); Steven L. b: May 1897 (3) and a border named James W. Jones a SWM b: September 1873 (27) – the boarder shall come into question 10 years later. Stephen L. is a bookkeeper by trade. This census is enumerated 1 June 1900.
Now comes the 1910 census – Stephen L. now lives at 2117 Baltimore Street and is still a bookkeeper at a retail coal office in Baltimore. He is now 40 and has been married for 18 years. He now has 6 children. Walter S. b: August 1893 (16); Lucilia G. b: March 1895 (15); Steven L. b: May 1897 (13); James W. b: 1901 (9); Lulu L. b: 1905 (5); Ida M. b: 1907 (3). The census now lists his wife as Ida M. age 39 which would have her as being born in 1871 the same year as Annie A the wife documented in the 1900 census. Here is my mystery – Why a different wife’s name between the 1900 and 1910 census. If I have a different family how can it be that the first 3 children have the exact same first names and middle initials (except Stephen which is spelled as Steven on the 1900 censes) and have the exact same ages plus 10 years. Too coincidental. The next child born who I believe is my grandfather was born between the two censuses and has the exact same first name and middle initial as the person who boarded with my great grandparents in 1900. Was this a coincidence or maybe a debt of gratitude OR???? Well you came only guess where I’m going from here. The 1900 census asked for the month and year born and a few other items. The 1910 census asked only age at last birthday but it also asked whether the mother wasthe mother of all listed children and how many were living to which the 1910 census listed Ida M. as the mother of all 6 and all 6 still living. The census taker also placed a numeral beside the M in the block that listed marital status and I assume it meant the number of times married. For my great grandfather and great grandmother the number was 1 for each. Here are just a few of my questions: Why was the name of my great grandmother changed between the two censuses or was my original grandmother changed and false information given to the census taker. Why was the name of my grandfather James W. the exact same first name and middle initial of the boarder that was living with my great grandparents in 1900 (good reason for divorce or demise) but why was the number of marriages listed as 1 for each if there was a divorce between 1900 and 1910 and why was Ida M. listed as the natural mother for all 6 children if she married into a semi ready made family and coincidentally born the same year as my great grandmother named Annie A. This census was enumerated in April 1910. Enough to make you pull your hair out. But the mystery goes on.
Now comes the 1920 census – There is a listing for a Stephen L. LeCompte Jr. age 22 and he is a Fire Insurance Agent living on Payson Street in Baltimore Maryland with his wife Mary age 21. I am assuming that this would be my Great Uncle as the age would have made him 13 in 1910.
There is a listing in the 1920 census for Walter S. LeCompte age 26 who is a Machinist in a machine shop living at 20 N. Ashburton Ave, Baltimore Maryland. His age and exact name would indicate that he might have been my great granduncle. He is married to Deliliah E. aged 21 b: 1898 – 1899. They have 2 children; William S. aged 2-1/2 b: June 1917 and Evelyn W. b: December 1919. They also have a 15 year old SWM boarder named Albert S. Shipley living with them. Both of these censuses were enumerated 14 January 1920. I could not locate any other family members on the Baltimore censuses for the decade.
Now comes the 1930 census – I once again find Stephen LeCompte now aged 60 as a bookkeeper for a coal company but now living at 5300 Fernpark Ave. in Baltimore, Maryland. His wife is now named Mary aged 54 b: 1876 so I am reasonably sure that this is a different woman perhaps my step great grandmother. They have no children but her father is living with them. His name is Richard F. Childs; he is 75 and was born in Maryland b: 1855. This census was enumerated on 7 April 1930. I found nothing else on other family members.
This is all I know about my father’s family and I am assuming that James W. LeCompte b: 1901 was my grandfather:
He was married to Alice May Lowman / Loman I am assuming I am assuming she was born some time around 1905 and married my grandfather between 1923 to 1924. They had 5 children although I am not positive about that as the birth of the first is sketchy at the least. Daughter (name and date of birth unknown) who died in 1928; Daughter Mary Jane, b: Nov 1926; Daughter Lucille, b: Jan 1928; Son (my father), James Wilbur LeCompte, b: 23 Aug 1930; Son Stephen Leonard LeCompte, b: Oct 1932. All I know about my grandmother is that she was supposed to have been born in 1912 (place and parents unknown), I have been told that she died in a pedestrian-auto accident outside Baltimore Maryland in 1940 maybe 1939 at the age of 33. My grandmother was an only child and is buried somewhere in Baltimore Maryland and I've been told that she is buried under her maiden name in a family cemetery.
My mother told me most of this story before she passed away in 96. She said that my grandmother’s family cast out my grandfather blaming him for her death or some such matter. Was it because they found out through Alice that he might be a bastard son? Just a thought. After my grandmother passed my grandfather sent my father and uncle to a state run home and raised his daughters. My mother told me that none of my aunts or my uncle’s wife would have anything to do with my father’s family often saying that he had married beneath his station (my mother was from a hillbilly clan in the hills of West Virginia). Both of my aunts married into very wealthy families and so did my uncle. My father had little to almost no contact with his siblings for almost 25 years after he married my mother in 1951. To this day absolutely no member of my father’s family will even talk to either me or my siblings and my father will not discuss his family. They are all still living so I guess I will have to wait until one passes so that I can get a copy of the death certificate or petition for the birth certificate to continue my search. My grandfather supposedly died literally in the streets of Baltimore as a homeless person in 1953 or so my mother told me completely ostracized and cut off by his own children.
Any help or facts that will help me continue any family tracing especially for my grandparents would be greatly appreciated.
I apologize for the lenght of this posting but hope it intrigues enough to get someone to respond with GOOD leads.