Two nights ago I was working on looking up information on a cousin of my paternal grandfather Harold Murrell and lo and behold I saw something that blew my mind. In an upcoming post, I will share my connection to the Cheesman family but for now take a look at this.
"United States Census, 1930," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/X4GY-91J : accessed 16 May 2014), Harold Berel in household of Herbert Cheesman, Manhattan (Districts 1001-1249), New York, New York, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 1020, sheet 20B, family 614, NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 1577.
I was looking for information on a a Herbert Cheesman who was from Barbados originally but was living in New York City in 1930 and I came across this Federal Census entry. I looked down the list of names in the household and stopped at the name "Harold Berel." My eyes panned right and saw that "Harold Berel" was originally from Barbados just like Herbert. His occupation was a "wringer" at a laundry. That's when I realized what I was looking at. I had found my grandpa Harold in the 1930 census.
My grandfather came to the U.S in 1927 and settled in New York City. I knew he had worked at a place called the Morgan Laundry and that's where he met his future wife and my grandmother, Ethel Smith Murrell. Previously, I had found him in the 1940 Federal Census and in the New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 database on Ancestry.com. Now I knew why I couldn't find him in 1930. They had spelled his last name B-E-R-E-L. His last name was Murrell. Harold Berel?! Really! No, really?!