Thursday, April 12, 2012

Benjamin H. Trump - 20 - 22 April 1940

My great aunt Bessie Cloos Trump was married to a man named Ben H. Trump. I still have no idea how or when they met, or when and where they married, but know of them through my genealogy research. Bessie was living in Decatur, IL until 1911 from what I can find. Ben was living in Greenville, IL until 1910 from what I can find. Sometimes research is tough when you can't just walk into a local library and pull old city directories. And as far as finding the marriage certificate, I have no idea where to begin since I have no idea when or where they married. This is tough.

Ben registered for the WWI draft in 1917 and listed a wife. I assume that was Bessie. He was living in Greenville, IL. The 1920 census lists them as married and living in Greenville. Then came the 1930 and 1940 census. Bessie was no longer living with Ben, but rather living as an "inmate" in Alton State Hospital in Illinois. I have no idea when she went in but am going to do my best to get her records. So, not only was she an "inmate" in 1930, she was also one in 1940.

I did find Ben's WWII draft registration that listed him living in a place called Donnellson, East Fork, Montgomery County, IL. Last week with the release of the 1940 census, I decided to try to find him. Lucky for me, Donnellson was only four pages and I found Ben on page 3. He was listed as a home owner and a blacksmith (which was his typical occupation). Funny thing is that it listed his marital status as "M" but then seemed to be crossed out with either a question mark or a number 7 written next to it. I tried to find out what either one of those notations might have indicated on the census, but failed. The 1940 census also showed me that Ben lived in Donnellson in 1935.

I still have not been able to find a death record for him, which baffles me. A few weeks ago, my sister suggested that maybe, like Lola, Ben died under a different name, or that maybe Ben was a nickname and not his birth name. I then began searching last weekend for any possible Trumps with the first name beginning with H as that was always listed as his middle initial. I did find a Harrison Trump that was born around the same time (not the exact birth date though that Ben listed on his draft registrations). Harrison died in Washington County, IL in 1979, but I cannot determine that date as the SSDI only lists month and year. That makes trying to order a death certificate a challenge.  I also tried to see what I could find on a Harrison Trump on Ancestry and FamilySearch, and found nothing except the SSDI listing. I wonder if that was him. The search continues.


  1. Awesome that you are finding more information on the 1940 census! I haven't found anything earth-shattering yet! For some I will have to wait for the indexed versions! Don't you wish we had the people working for us that those on "Who Do You Think You Are" have? That would be awesome! Great post!

  2. Thank you Wendy! It sure would be awesome to have that level of help. I have also found some children I didn't know about thanks to 1940 - children of my grandmother's cousins.