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 Murray County Museum  

Ben B. and Estell (Stella) Townsend Family

The 1940 Census listed the family of Ben B. Tounsend, age 44, and wife Ostella, age 36, living in Spring Place, Town District of Murray County, Ga. Census indicated that Ben had been born in Georgia, lived on a farm where he owned a house valued at $1,000. This was very near the Levi Branham home-place.

Like many Census forms, this one had numerous spelling errors. Some were made when the Census taker originally wrote down the information about the household; others are transcription errors where the person entering the information into the computer goofed. For example, the family name appears as Tounsend and Townson for members of this family. Ostella was listed as Ben's wife but her name was Estella or Stella. The given names of both twins, Malvin and Calvin, were misspelled. Buell's name was spelled wrong.

The Census form indicated that Ben's father had been born in Georgia and his mother in South Carolina. It also listed Ben's occupation as dyer (dyed fabric) who worked a 36 hour week and earned $400 (probably for an entire year). He only worked 40 weeks in 1939. He was a veteran and was paying into the Social Security System.

The family was listed as Ben B. Tounsend, age 44, head of household; Ostella, age 36; Rembert H., age 17, Maluisa M., age 14; Caluin S., age 14; Burll E., age 6, and Billie W. Townson, age 1.

Censuses of 1910 and 1920 listed Stella Baggett as the female who became Ben's wife. Details below.

Their last born child was Ben Townsend, Jr., not born when the 1940 Census was taken.

Tracing Ben's family, the 1920 Census shows him living in Spring Place, the son of John R. Townsend, age 63, and Susan J. Townsend, age 63. John was born in Georgia, his father was born in Georgia, his mother was born in North Carolina. Susan was born in South Carolina, so were her father and mother. Only two sons were still living at home: Ben B. Townsend, age 24, and Roscoe Townsend, age 20.

The 1910 Census listed the family as John R. Townsend, age 53; Susan J., age 53; Theo B., age 30; William H., age 17; Ben B., age 14; Tinnie A., age 14, and Earnest L. B. Townsend, age 11. It appears that Ben and Tinnie were twins. The son listed here as Earnest is same person listed in 1920 Census as Roscoe.

The Census of 1900 listed the family living in the Bull Pen District of Murray as John Townsend, age 43; Susan J., age 43; Theo B. Townsend, age 10; Mandy D., age 17; Bulia W., age 15, Vinnie J., age 13; Dialey, age 10, William H., age 9, Benny A., age 3, Linnie A., age 3; and Easnist R. Townsend, age 1.

Strange, how Benny A. somehow became Benny B. Townsend in later Censuses.

The father was John Reed Townsend. The mother was Susan Jane Townsend.

Now, back to Stella M. Baggett, Ben B.'s wife.

The 1910 Census listed her living with her father, Lou J. Baggett, age 36, and mother, Sallie E. Baggett, age 33, in Town District, Spring Place. Others listed are Bessie M., age 11; Jesse, age 10; Nellie, age 8; Stella M. Age 7; Walter H., age 5; Maud R., age 4; Lester S., age 2, and Pearl A., 4 months old.

The 1920 Census listed the family as: Allen J., age 44; Sallie, age 43; Jessie H., age 19; Nellie, age 18; Stella, age 16; Walter, age 15; Maue, age 14; Lester, age 12; Alline, age 10, Opal, age 8, Ethel, age 7; Willie, age 5; Floyd, age 3; Leonard, age 10 months; and Jessie L. Baggett, age 74. Jessie was listed as father of Allen. Jessie was born in Florida and his mother had been born in South Carolina.

Allen J. Baggett lived 1874-1939. Sallie Elvina (Long) Baggett lived 1877-1970.


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