This slide served as my research’s starting point. From Osorto’s findings, I knew four things:
(1) Rachel Flowers relocated from Florida to Boiling Springs, PA with her father and three siblings in the early 1900s. (2) A Harry F. Flowers was her father. (3) Beginning in fall 1916, she attended Messiah Academy. (4) In the 1950s, Rachel held a civil service position.
As an amateur genealogist, I initially turned to Ancestry.com (free 14-day trial), where I located the Flowers family in the 1910 Federal Census.
Mrs. N.J.P. is listed as the head of the household. Her race–Mulatto; Age–37 years old; Place of birth–North Carolina; Mother’s place of birth–North Carolina; Father’s Place of birth–Virginia. What led to her family’s further migration South? Married for 19 years, a married mother appeared on the census with eight children with no spouse listed in the household.
The census enumerator noted that Mrs. NJP owned her farm. Born between 1894 to 1895, her eldest son Chauncey Flowers gained employment as a porter. Her second eldest son, John C. Flowers (bn. 1897) worked as a farm hand at home. The remaining children, Fred L. (bn. 1899), Rachel H. (bn. 1901), Theodore (bn. 1903), Vincent (bn. 1906), Gladys (bn. 1908), and Clifford Flowers (bn. 1910). What a large family?
The 1910 Federal Census paints a small picture of the Flowers family. It reveals, yet conjures more questions surrounding Harry’s absent, the family’s residence in a predominately white community, and their homeownership. But, this is only the beginning.