Monday, March 19, 2012

Matrilineal Monday: Where Was Incarnate Word Convent in 1940?

Another place I'll be looking for in the 1940 US Census is the Crawford Street convent of the Congregation of the Incarnate Word & Blessed Sacrament in Houston, Texas.  My aunt has been a member of this order for over 60 years, although the motherhouse is now in a different location.

The sisters established themselves in Houston in 1874.  I've been able to find them on the 1880, 1910, 1920, and 1930 US censuses (but not, for some reason, 1900 - I think they were skipped). I have provided printouts of the relevant census pages to the convent's archives.  I'd like to do the same for 1940.

Stephen P. Morse's 1930/1940 ED Converter utility should make this easy.  The ED (enumeration district) for the Convent of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament at 609 Crawford Street in Houston in the 1930 US Census was 101-65.  That converts to 258-148 for the 1940 US Census.  However, the official description for this ED is "JUSTICE PRECINCT 1, HOUSTON CITY (TRACT 25 - PART), OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL HELP CONVENT AND ACADEMY."  The name of the school and convent is wrong, but the block in question, #65, bounded by Texas, Jackson, Capitol, and Crawford, is correct, so I'm going to put this one down as a governmental screw-up.

My aunt, Jo Ann (Sister Jean Marie) Guokas, attended Incarnate Word Academy in Houston (along with my mother).  She entered the convent at the end of her 10th grade year in 1945, when she was only 15 ("this doesn't happen any more," she says).  The picture at left is of her during her second summer as a candidate, and the other two pictures may have been from the same time (although they were printed in June, 1947).  The photo above right has my grandfather, her father, Charles Guokas Jr. (1903-1967) to the left, and her brother, my uncle, Charles Guokas III (1926-1999) on her right.  The photo below right shows Jo Ann with her sister, my mother, Geraldine Guokas Pape, seated at the left.

Sister Jean Marie graduated from Incarnate Word Academy along with the rest of her class in May, 1948. She took her final vows as a nun in 1949.

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

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