A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow

1930 Census Findings

The starting point for a majority of my house history research last weekend was the 1930 census. Although earlier censuses played a part as well, our house was built in 1928, so this particular census would be the first one in which our house was included.

On Ancestry.com, my search for Leo Milke came up with a link to the 1930 Census. Based on hearsay, I fully expected to find him at our house in Morton Grove, but lo and behold, he and his family were listed at what was probably a 2-flat on Kimball near Irving Park in Chicago (it’s unclear on Google Maps Street View).

His mother, a widow, and a brother were listed at this same address. The mother is listed as owner, and Leo paid a monthly rent of $40.

In 1930, Leo is 32 years old. He was born in Illinois, of Polish descent, and his occupation was Poultry Salesman at a Wholesale House. (Leo’s brother is a meat cutter at a meat market.) His wife Mae is two years older, 34, also born in Illinois. Her parents immigrated from Bohemia-Prague. Leo and Mae had been married eight years. Their daughter Muriel was 5.

While great information, it debunked the assumption that the Milke’s lived in this house from Day One.

Now to find out who did!


  1. Nicole on December 8, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    Sleuthing is so much fun, isn’t it?! I do a lot of genealogy work so I know what a task combing those kinds of records can be.

    I had the pleasure of meeting the original owner of This D*mn House. He and his wife, a lovely couple, actually came here for a visit in 1989 or the early ’90s. They gave us the bill for its purchase! (Their daughter came by one day and asked if it would be OK if they came to see the house.) And they fully approved of the work we’d done. And we hadn’t even done that much … then.

  2. southsideandy on December 8, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    I wish I had the stinkin’ time to do the background work on my house. Heck, I don’t even have the time to genealogically trace my family’s history.

    Ah well, some day, I guess…some day.

  3. denise on December 9, 2008 at 10:54 am

    Nicole: Yes, I love this type of stuff! My father traced a majority of our family’s geneaology before he died in the ’70s. Of course no online searching back then — we would go to the library with him and search through microfiche, so I guess I have it in my blood.

    That’s sweet that the previous owners came by. I know our PO likes to come over and see what we’ve done.

    southsideandy: It definitely can take up your whole weekend before you know it! But I think you’d be able to find at least the 1930 owners pretty easily through the search tool; being in Chicago you’d be able to search by address.

  4. Christopher Busta-Peck on December 9, 2008 at 11:10 am

    Have you tried looking at old city directories? Your local public library probably has them, and they are usually organized by street address, so you could see who was listed as living at a given address on a given date.

  5. denise on December 9, 2008 at 11:33 am

    Christopher: No, I haven’t done that yet, but thanks for the suggestion! When I called the Historical Society a while back, I know they looked in one around 1940 and found the Milke’s. I’ll have to see if they have earlier directories, because it was probably under the old street name (which I didn’t know at the time).

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