Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Tribute to My Grandfather

Circa. 1917 and 1937
What does the 1940 U.S. Census and my grandfather have in common?

They both are rich in history and connect the past with the present.

My grandfather Claude Benjamin David Gray was born 12 Sep 1892 in Russellville, Franklin County Alabama to David Thomas Crockett  Gray and Nora Bickerstaff. He was their only son. My grandfather came from humble beginnings, but he was a hard worker. He believed in working hard and earning an honest living. Claude Benjamin David Gray served his country in WWI. He believed in truth, justice and the American Way.

He met and married Annie Louise Dickinson on May 30th, 1922. He was eleven years older than her, but their love endured until his death on March 15th, 1973. My grandparent's survived 50 years of hardship mixed with blessings. Together they had nine children; the youngest dying at two months.

My grandfather worked hard to provide for his family. He work for Avondale Mills and continued to work until his health would no longer permit him too. He loved to work.

I have fond memories of my granddaddy. When I was a little girl he worked as a security guard for the City Federal Building in Birmingham Alabama. He used to take me up to the top floor so I could look out over the city. Claude Gray wasn't perfect. He had his flaws. He wasn't a strict disciplinarian. My grandmother took the reins when it came to their children. I never heard him say a cuss word, but he loved to drink Pabst Blue Ribbon beer until the doctor put a stop to my granddaddy's favorite pastime. I can remember the sadness in his spirit after that. He continued to drink "apple beer". He thought he was fooling his family and we played along with him.

I miss my granddaddy. I never got a chance to hear the stories of his life. I never got to know his family or their secrets. He died when I was twelve and I never got to tell him good-bye.
My grandfather circa. 1971

Don't let your past slip away from you. With the release of the 1940 U.S. Census you now have a chance to find your grandfather and know his history. You have a chance to know your history as well. To learn more about the 1940 U.S. Census check it out at the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project website.

If you want to help others find their past you can become a 1940 Census Ambassador or an indexer.
With all 50 states ready to index why not join in the fun and you could win great prizes too!

Disclaimer: “As part of ambassador program this blog post enters me into a drawing for a $100 Visa Gift Card."


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