West Seattle: Ethel and Robert Boardman’s Family in 1930!

Grandfather Robert and grandmother Ethel settled down in West Seattle making it their home.  This was after they had immigrated from Vancouver, B.C in about 1917-1918.  They where in Seattle for a short time when they headed for Tacoma for a few years.  The city directories below show that they were back in West Seattle by about 1921.  Here they appear in the 1930 U.S. Federal Census as follows:

1930 Census R. Boardman

1930 Census R. Boardman – click to make bigger, use back button to return

This 1930 Census shows Robert Boardman and family living in West Seattle, Washington.  They are listed on line 8 thru 12 at 46th SW #7010, 566, 566.  Robert is listed as the head of the family.  They are renting and have about $350 in personal property.  They have a radio and they do not live on a farm.  Robert is male, white and 48 years old.  He is married and has been for 24 years.  He can read and write.  His origins are Canadian English.  He immigrated in 1918 and a “PA” is indicated under the naturalization.  His occupation is plumbing and contractor and he is employed and not a veteran.  Ethel is listed as wife of the head, she is white, female and 38 years old and has been married 24 years, her parents are Canadian-English and she immigrated in 1918 and is listed as an Alien, she has no occupation.  The children:  Hazel, daughter, female, white, 22 years old, single, immigrated 1918 and is alien status, occupation is com’l sales and she has employment and is not a veteran.  Marjorie F, daughter, female, white, 17 years old, single, still in school, immigrated 1918 and is alien in status, has no occupation.   Robert B., son, male, white, 13 years old, single, in school, immigrated 1918 and is alien in status and has no occupation.

Here is a little about West Seattle from Wikipedia:


Source:  1930 U.S. Federal Census, Seattle, King Co., Washington, SD2, ED43, Sht#43-A, pg. 85, Block 7905, enumerated on April 23, 1930.

Some notes on this Census:  Robert’s parents were English on his father’s side and his mother Charlotte was a mixture of English and Scottish.   The girl whose name is Hazel is formally “Hazel Aileen,” my Aunt.  Both Robert and Ethel were born in 1881.  So the age of 38 by Ethel’s name is not correct

City Directory research starts when they appear in the Seattle Polk City Directories.  The Seattle Public Library has a wonderful city directory collection on the 9th floor.

1921 – Boardman, Robt (Ethel) ironwk h 7205 Wright

1922 – Boardman, Robt (Ethel) mechanic h 7205 Wright

1923 – Boardman, Robt (Ethel) West Metal Works h 7205 Wright Ave.

In this 1923 City Directory there is an advertisement for the West Metal Works. Plumbing & Heating…Sheet Metal Work with the name R. Boardman, Mgr. listed. It was on page 221 of this directory. 

Plumbers section 1923 Seattle City Directory

Plumbers section 1923 Seattle City Directory – Last ad on the page

1924 – Boardman, Robt (Ethel) mgr West Metal Works h 7205 Wright Ave.

1925 – Boardman, Robt (Ethel) plmbr h 7205 Wright Av

1926 – Boardman, Robt (Ethel) plmbr 4716 Calif. Ave h 7205 Wright Ave.  Note:  Looks like grandpa opened his store in the heart of West Seattle.

1927 – Boardman, Robt (Ethel) West Seattle Plumbing Co. 4716 Calif. Ave) h 7205 Wright Av (Grandfather Robert started his own plumbing business about this time.) 

1928 – Boardman, Robt (Ethel) West Seattle Plumbing Co. h 7205 Wright Av 

1928 – Boardman, Aileen bkr Ore City Woolen Mills 1220 2nd Av. r 7205 Wright Av (Her address is the same as her parents who are listed after her – Aileen would be about 21 years old). 

1929 – Boardman, Robt (Ethel) contr 7022 46th Ave SW 

1929 – Boardman, Aileen cashr Oregon City Woolen Mills 4 7205 Wright Av

1930 – Boardman, Robt (Ethel) plmbr contractor 7022 46th Av SW h do.

1930 – Boardman, H. Aileen bkpr r 7022 46th Av SW – 1930

  Boardman, Marjorie F. r 7022 46th Av SW 

Robert Boardman family locations

Robert Boardman family locations – click to open, use back arrow to return

The year was 1930 and the stock market crash had taken place in 1929.  My mother’s family would have a hard time of it in the 1930’s.  Grandpa had started his own plumbing business and it was not necessarily the best time for it.  The story is he gave a lot of credit to people which made things difficult.  Hitler rose to power in 1933 in Germany and became Führer in 1934.  He was on the move and WWII was in the making.  Even under the difficult conditions of the Great Depression and the impending troubles with Germany, my family worked, went to school and still had some fun.  These two events were to later influence all their lives and trickle down to their descendants.


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