Census Sunday: William Wallace Greene Jr Counted Twice on 1930 Census

William Wallace Greene, 1929
The Stanford Quad yearbook, Stanford University, 1929. Image courtesy of Ancestry.com.

One little census oddity in our family history involves my husband’s grandfather, William Wallace GREENE, Jr. (1908-2003).

Wallace — his preferred name — was counted twice on the U.S. Census in 1930. He was enumerated on April 4th with his parents in Phoenix, Arizona and again on April 8th in San Francisco, California.

Both censuses identify Wallace as a single 21 year old college student. According to the autobiography he wrote for his family, Wallace would have been a medical student at Stanford at this time. This appears to be the period between receiving his A.B. in Pre-Clinical Sciences in 1929, and his internship in 1932-33 at Lane-Stanford Hospital in San Francisco.

While it is possible that Wallace was in Phoenix the day the census enumerator visited his family, and then was back in his college boarding home in San Francisco four days later, my hunch is that he was not actually living (and was not visiting) his family home at this time. I think Wallace’s parents (it was most likely his Mom who would’ve been home to talk to the census taker ) did not yet consider their son permanently moved away from home and a California resident. They might have still expected him to return to Phoenix to live. When I went away to college, I was never really sure where I should be registered to vote (my college county, or my family home county) or which place to list as my official residence. I am sure my parents still considered their home my official residence, and would have responded as such if visited by a census taker. I think the same thing happened to Wallace. There is nobody left alive from this period to confirm my hunch.

So, I just have to note this hunch in my residence and census records for Wallace.

At least the details on each census match. There are no discrepancies.

Wallace on the 1930 U.S. Census in Phoenix, Arizona.
Wallace on the 1930 U.S. Census in Phoenix, Arizona. Enumerated with his parents, sister Nelle, and two lodgers at 517 N. 2nd Street. Wallace is highlighted in yellow. Image courtesy of Ancestry.com.

1930 US Census, San Francisco, California.
Wallace on the 1930 U.S. Census in San Francisco, California. Enumerated with his fellow “roomers” in a boarding house. at 2321 Sacramento Street. Wallace is highlighted in yellow. Image courtesy of Ancestry.com.

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