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The letter in my last post indicated that my grandma had moved back in with her dad at the age of 18 in June of 1927. On October 10 of that year she was married to the son of a Baptist Preacher who lived next door to her foster parents. His name was Richard Lemmy Meherg. I was able to find them in Fayette County, Alabama in the 1930 US Census. Finding anything in the census is a lot of work. There are usually indexes, but they often have spelling mistakes due to the poor quality of the microfilm, the handwriting of the census taker, or their spelling ability. Often those who were being counted could not read or write. In other cases they were not home and the information was provided by a neighbor who had little or no knowledge about the facts. Keeping that in mind the 1930 Census confirmed that grandma or someone else had given the census takers information confirming that she was born in 1909. Now I had two documents which disproved the idea that grandma had “always” thought she was a year younger up until she had applied for Social Security benefits. If she did indeed think she was younger she must have had a reason. Could it be that at the age of seventeen, she needed her father’s blessing in order to get married. As a son of a German immigrant and a minister of the Lutheran Church he could never give it, could he. Was it possible that she wrote her aunt Mattie because she needed a witness to claim she was eighteen so that she could get married? Her father likely knew when she was born, indeed years later she claimed that he had told her it was 1910. She had just spent her first birthday with him in years. How could she not know the truth? There were still two more years of the census to be checked. One was 1920 in the home of her foster parents when she would have been too young to have an influence on the number given. The other was 1910 with her mother and father. I will tell what I found and settle this once and for all in the next and final post.

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