Me: When did your aunts and uncles that moved to Ohio — when did they move? And who was the first one to go. Why did they pick Ohio?
My grandmother: Well, Mama had a sister named Janie, and she had three children by this man. And he didn’t even –
Me [unfortunately, interrupting *sigh*]: That was J.T. and Charles and —
My grandmother: No, no, no, no, no. That was –
Me: Oh, Willa and them. Okay. Yeah.
My grandmother: Mm-hmm. And he went to Columbus, Ohio, and he would want them to come, but they didn’t ever go. So finally my Aunt Min and my cousin moved to Ohio — Columbus. And my Aunt Dot and her family just trickled on.
Me: Okay. So Aunt Min and who?
My grandmother: Ardeanur.
Me: Ardeanur. Okay.
My grandmother: Ardeanur. And she had a brother named James. And their mother died when they were little children, and Min reared them. Reared the children. So anyway after they went to Ohio, after she went, after Aunt Dot went to Ohio, I think. Ardeanur and Aunt Min lived in Jersey City. But they moved out there.
Me: Okay. So that’s how everybody wound up in Columbus.
My grandmother: Columbus, Ohio.
Janie C. “Dot” McNeely, born 1894, was the youngest of the McNeely sisters. I’m not sure who the man who moved to Ohio is, but he probably was James M. Taylor, whom she married in 1923 shortly before their son Carl was born. (They’d had a daughter, Willa Louise, in 1918 and had a second son in 1925. Janie and her children (including older daughters Sarah and Frances) appear in Statesville in the 1930 census without James Taylor.
It’s still not clear to me when the McNeelys moved to Ohio. My grandmother’s statements about who went first seem to conflict, but I am fairly certain that she meant to say that Janie and her children were there before Minnie and Ardeanur. Minnie and Ardeanur were in Bayonne, New Jersey, before 1930, when Janie was still in Statesville. However, because all of them — wherever they were — seem to have been omitted from the 1940 census, it’s difficult to guess when the move to Ohio took place.