Before Rosa Parks: The Ancestry Of Irene Morgan Part III

I apologize for the inactivity. Last week, I had two huge papers due for my Intercultural Communication and International Relations class. I know I did well on the first paper, but the second one was a bit tougher, however, I do not expect a grade lower than a B, well at least I hope not. (Update, I got an 80…*sigh, what the heck!) Then from Thursday to Sunday, our study abroad group travelled to Estonia and Latvia. I will post a blog with pictures, yes; I actually took pictures myself this time of the country. It was a beautiful trip with long annoying bus rides, but I truly did enjoy both countries.

So, we last left off talking about Irene’s father, Robert Amos, and his military background. This post will cover finish covering her father’s ancestry.

Now, if you remember, I stopped a post with a new lead, I thought I have found:

“One thing I have learned is to always look at who else is living in the neighborhood. When reading the 1920 Census, I notice a Martha Amos. She lived on the same street as the Amos family. She could be Robert’s mother. Born in 1846 in Maryland, she was already a widow by 1920 and at 74 years old she worked as a servant in a private home. I will save the rest of her story and her connection to the family in a later post.”

I later followed the lead and it turns out she is Robert’s mother.

Martha Amos was born in February 1846 in Maryland. She was married to John Amos and together they had four children, Jane, William, Elme, and Robert (Irene’s father).

1880 Census



I was hoping to find Robert in at least two censuses with his mother, but due to the unavailability of the 1890 Census, he can only be found in the 1900 Census…which is ten times better than nothing.

John and Martha lived in Baltimore, Maryland with two children in 1880. The neighborhood they lived in was segregated for most of their neighbors were white. John was 36 years old working as a laborer. He could neither read nor write. His wife Martha was only 34 years old and did not work. William was five years old and his little sister Jane was five. Jane lives with her younger brother in 1920. If you recall the Jane Shorts in the census with her child, that is her.

1900 Census


We are looking at the last entry on this census. The household is under Joseph Maker a black male born March 1826. He was listed as being 73 years old and married for 54 years, which means he got married when he was 19 years old. Joseph (Martha’s father, Robert’s father, and Irene’s paternal great-grandfather) was born in Brazil as well as his father and mother. He came to the United States in 1837 when he was 11 years old and has lived in the States by 1900 for 63 years. He continued to work as a day laborer. He was able to read and speak English, but not write. It was shocking to learn that the family is Brazilian.

Others in the household were included on the next page.


Martha (Marthy?) Amos was listed as Joseph’s daughter. She was born in February 1846 and was 54 years old at the time of the census. She was also listed as a widow and the enumerator marked out her response of being married for 15 years. She was the mother of nine children with only seven living by 1900. Martha as well as her mother was born in Maryland while her father was born in Brazil. She held neither held no employment nor could write, but she could read.

Martha’s sister, Florence, also lived in the household with her husband Charlie Willis. Charlie was born in 1871 and was 29 years old while his wife was born in 1868 and was 42 years old. The couple had been married for 11 years and together had two children who did not live to see 1900. Charlie was born in Virginia and worked as a day laborer.

Three grandchildren were listed on this census, Carrie, Robert, and Howard. Carrie Amos was born in May 1880 and was listed as being 20 years old. She had been married for four years with three children who also did not live to see 1900. She worked as a laundress. Robert Amos, Irene’s father, was born in March 1884 and was 16 years old. He was single at the time and worked as a laborer. Howard Amos was born in August 1885 and was only 14 years old working as a cart driver. I do not believe Howard and Robert were siblings for the birthplaces of the boys’ parents do not match.

1910 Census


Martha lived next door to her son, Robert, in 1910. She was a 64 year old widow and as in 1900 seven her children were still living. She worked as a laundress in a private home. Eva is actually her daughter-in-law, I write this blog forward-backwards, strange I know, so I will need to correct it above…someday. Eva is the spouse of Elme and together they have two children. The last individual in the household is Tillie Smith and honestly, I have no idea who this child is, well besides the fact that she is Martha’s granddaughter.

1920 Census


By 1920, Martha lived alone in a house right beside her son Robert on Reese Street. She was a 74 year old widow working as a servant. This is the last census I found for Martha. There would be no SSDI for her, so I will have to search through Find-A-Grave.

Thank you for your patience and taking the time to appreciate Irene’s ancestry.

Until the next post.


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