October 3, 2013
Found a Servant? Check out the Employer
In researching the widow Elsie Bogardus Linthicum, I found her in the 1910 census in Baltimore at age 54. She was listed as a servant in the household of the much younger Herbert S Hastings, 35. At first I wondered if he might be a nephew. It didn’t immediately occur to me to check his occupation or to look for additional information about him – but was glad I later did.
Herbert was a native New Yorker (as was Elsie, though not from the same area) and an Episcopal priest who ran the Donaldson School for Boys in Maryland for many years. Elsie and a number of others were servants in his household. After the death of his brother in 1933, he took in his widowed sister-in-law and her children. These little details provide some view into the environment in which Elsie was living. I’m determined now to ALWAYS CHECK out the EMPLOYER !