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Snooping on Willie Nelson - A Census Record

Updated: Aug 29, 2023


Census entry
Thought I'd jump on the bandwagon to celebrate Willie Nelson's 90th birthday. Willie is a Texas legend, and his anthem "On the Road Again" is the crescendo to my road-tripping mixed tape, then CD, and now playlist :)

I thought, yeah, I could post a photograph of Willie, or I could go down the genealogical rabbit hole and discover some primary sources. For example, here's the 1940 census record of Willie and his sister Bobbie living with their widowed grandmother, Nancy, on Abbott Avenue in Hill County, Texas. Nancy rented the home and listed an income of 0; this meant she most likely scrambled a living together as a music tutor (the profession listed on her death certificate) who also worked picking cotton (as told by Nelson family histories).


Census records are spring boards, so I was able to find the home where Willie Nelson resided 1956 with his first wife, Martha, on Arlington Avenue in Fort Worth. He worked as an announcer for the Blue Bonnet Broadcasting Company at 2212 E 4th Street. Today's map shows the place as an industrial warehouse, proving once again that history is retrospective.




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