Monday, February 27, 2012

Matrilineal Monday: Where Was the Charles Guokas Jr. Family in 1940?

Geraldine Guokas Pape, Charles Guokas Jr., Jo Ann Guokas, Sara Wolfe Guokas Archibald, Charles Guokas III - 1949

I found a listing for my maternal grandfather, Charles Peter Guokas Jr., (1903-1967) on page 430 of the 1940 Morrison and Fourmy's Greater Houston (Texas) City Directory.  His spouse is listed as Melzina (the middle name of my grandmother, Sara Wolfe Guokas Archibald, 1907-1997), and they have three children.  Those would be my uncle, Charles Guokas III (1927-1999), my mother, Geraldine Margaret Guokas Pape, and my aunt, Jo Ann (Sister Jean Marie) Guokas.  They are living at 2215 Shearn, and my grandfather is working as a warehouseman for Sou Warehouse Corporation.

To find their enumeration districts (EDs) for the 1940 US Census, I used one of Stephen P. Morse's search engines, Obtaining EDs for the 1900 to 1940 Census in One Step (Large Cities), as Houston is one of the cities available with this utility.  Shearn is common to four EDs.  I needed cross streets.  So in this case, I used the Google Maps link first to see what those probably were.  According to street view, there's no longer a house at 2215 Shearn (ironically, it appears to be a warehouse), but the nearest cross street was Hemphill, so I entered that.  This told me the ED is 258-98 for 2215 Shearn, the residence of Charles Jr., Sara Melzina (nee Wolfe), Charles III, Geraldine, and Jo Ann Guokas in 1940.

Not surprisingly, there are a bunch of other Guokases on page 430 of this directory.  My great-grandparents had both passed away by 1940.  My grandfather's younger brother, Roy Lee Guokas (1917-1959), was living at 1717 Shearn with his wife "Maxine" (probably Fay Lois Florence, as daughter Gloria was born in August 1941).  For this address, I had to enter both cross streets (Sabine and Colorado), as well as a back street (the fourth street that defines the rectangular city block on which your address is located).  I thought that was Crockett, but when I entered that street, it asked for another back street, so I entered Spring (one block north of and parallel to Shearn), and it gave me ED 258-105.  However, if I enter Summer (two blocks south of and parallel to Shearn, south of Crockett), I get ED 258-104.

Luckily, Morse's website also provides a link where "Clicking on an ED will show microfilm roll number and bring up a display of all streets in that ED."  I did this and confirmed that one of the blocks in ED 258-104 was that boarded by Shearn, Sabine, Crockett, and Colorado, which contains 1717 Shearn, the home of Roy Lee and Fay Lois "Maxine" Florence Guokas in 1940.  Mom says her aunt Eva Guokas Scott, Roy's sister, was also living at this address, with her husband Otis Scott Sr. and son Otis Scott Jr.

My grandfather's aunt, Pauline Cuniowskuna Guokas (1878-1953), widow of Joseph Guokas; her son, Adam Lawrence Guokas (1901-1966) and his second wife Frances Bryson Guokas (born about 1908); Pauline's daughter Marie Guokas (later Niscavits, 1905-1983) and son Frank Guokas (1909-1977); were all living at 1414 Bingham in 1940.  A Dora M. Guokas, an office assistant, also lived there, but I don't know who this is!  It could be Dorothy Marie McVey or Dorothy Mildred Allbritton, both first cousins to my mother, as they were both born in 1921 and thus would have been 19 and possibly working as an office assistant in 1940.  It will be interesting to find out.  At any rate, 1414 Bingham is in ED 258-106.

My grandfather's other uncle, Anton Guokas (1875-1947), is listed as Antonio Goukas (note the different spelling) in this 1940 directory on page 410.  He lives at 2018 Crockett.  I needed to enter one cross street (Henderson), and Steve Morse's utility gave me ED 258-98.  This is the same ED as my mother and grandparents. 
 

Anton's estranged wife, Marie Theresa Kovar Guokas (1889-1973) , their daughter Alfrieda Guokas (later Smith, born 1916), and their son John Edwin Guokas (1919-1997), all live on the "ss [south side of] Bauman rd 1 e E Montgomery Rd." according to the 1940 City Directory.  I tried using the same utility as I did for the others, but this did not work, because Bauman was not a listed street.  That's because it was outside the Houston city limits in 1940.

I found Marie Kovar Guokas in the 1942 Houston, Texas, City Directory, on page 421, under last name "Goukas."  It said her address was 8300 Bauman.  Pulling that up on Google Maps, I could see that it was just south of the intersection of Berry Road.  Marie, Anton, and family lived on Berry Road in the 1930 US Census.  As it was a rural area then (Anton was listed as a farmer), I suspect that Marie stayed on at the family home with the children after separating from Anton, and it was later given the address 8300 Bauman Road.

On the 1930 US Census, this location was in ED 101-148.  On the 1940 US Census, 101 still designates Harris County, but the City of Houston has its own prefix, 258.  To determine the 1940 ED for the Bauman/Berry Road location, I used Steve Morse's Unified 1940 Census ED Finder.   There's a place to enter the 1930 ED, and then it gives you one or more EDs for 1940.  I then clicked on a radio button to select the 1940 ED Description (rather than the 1940 Census pages, which are not yet available).  Then, when you click on each of the possible EDs for 1940, you can read the description of its boundaries.  I believe 101-7 is the correct ED for the Bauman Road home of Marie Kovar Guokas, Alfrieda Guokas (later Smith), and John Edwin Guokas.

Finally, there's one more mystery Guokas in the 1940 City Directory.  A Mrs. Frances Guokas, with one child, is listed at 415 Fairview Avenue, Apartment 25.  I'm not sure who this is!  It might be Adam's first wife, Ruth R. Thompson Guokas, with whom he had a son, Books L. Guokas (born in 1926).  Another one I need to check!  This apartment building, new in 1940, is still standing at the corner of Fairview and Whitney, and its 1940 US Census ED is 258-181.


© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

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