Census Sunday – Francois Chatel family
After taking the Boston University Certificate of Genealogical Research course, I started really taking a look at my previous research. I have amassed a ton of documentation but have I really analyzed that evidence. No. I have not. So, I have started a project to go back through my decades of research and take a look with fresh eyes and new skill sets. My first foray is to look at some census records. A look at the 1900 U.S. Federal Census record for my great-grandfather and great-great-grandfathers revealed something I had never noticed before – my great-grandfather was one of 14 children, only 7 were alive in 1900. This is a family line I have been studying for at least a decade but never noticed this basic fact. Already, this re-work is proving insightful.
1900 U.S. Federal Census for Francois Chatelle
To find out more about my great-grandfather, Prosper Chatel’s family, the 1900 Census was reviewed for Manchester New Hampshire. With Prosper being born in 1894 (per his birth certificate), the 1900 census would be the first in which Prosper should appear with parents F.X. and Heloise Chatel.
Ancestry.com did not return a result in the 1900 census for a Prosper Chatel born in 1894 in Manchester, New Hampshire. However when the parameters were broadened to include alternative spellings for the last name, a Prosper Chatelle, age 6, born in New Hampshire and living with parents Francois and Eloise Chatel.
The 1900 census had the Chatelle Family living at 1247 Elm Street in Manchester City Ward 3, Hillsborough, New Hampshire. Some items of note are the fact that Elm Street eventually became Highway 3 and 1247 Elm Street is only two blocks from the Notre Dame Bridge over the Merrimack River.
The head of the household was Francois Chatelle who was born April 1855 which made him 45 years old at the time of this census. While not a naturalized citizen, he came to the United States in 1872. He is a barber who has not been out of work and rents his property. Francois was been married to Elaise (b: April 1857- 42 years old) for 24 years. Both are French Canadian from French Canadian parents, however Elaise came to the United States in 1867 which was six years before Francois. They have had 14 children only 7 of whom are living. All the children were born in New Hampshire and are living in the household with Francois and Eloise. The seven children listed are:
- Amelia (F, 21-b: September 1878)- Dressmaker
- Dora (F, 20- b: March 1880)- Salesperson (Dry goods)
- Pholmie (F, 17-b: January 1883)- Operator
- Elize (F, 15-b: December 1884)- Operator
- Josephine (F, 12-b: August 1887)- At school
- George (M, 7-b: September 1892)- At school
- Prosper (M, 6-b: March 1844)- At school
All the children could read, write, and speak English except the 2 youngest. George could read but not write. Prosper could not read or write.
There were only 16 people living in Manchester, New Hampshire with a last name that had a variation of the Chatel spelling. Nine of these people are the Francois Chatelle family listed above. The others are living in Manchester Ward 6 & 8.
“United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M3Y4-TS4 : accessed 3 October 2015), Prosper Chatelle in household of Francois Chatelle, Manchester city Ward 3, Hillsborough, New Hampshire, United States; citing sheet 9A, family 130, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,240,947.