William C. Twiss – 1870 Norwalk Census

Feb 14, 2021

Norwalk, Connecticut

We first see William C. Twiss in the United States in 1870 as a 25-year-old shoe-factory worker in Norwalk, Fairfield County, Connecticut. He is boarding in the home of a 48-year old farmer named William H. Brown. Also in the home live Brown’s wife, 16-year old son, and three other male boarders:

  • Gains Pease, 60, machinest
  • Edward Brady, 30, works in iron foundry
  • William Raymound, 30, machinist

William is mentioned to have $1800 in “real estate value” – about $36,000 in today’s dollars.

We have since traced William’s birth back to County Tipperary, Ireland, yet someone told the census taker that William was born in Canada. We can speculate that either the individual answering the census questions was not aware William originally came from Ireland – or for some reason, perhaps William himself chose to leave out the Ireland piece.

Either way, we benefit from this Canada tidbit – because, with it, we went on to locate William’s siblings, who first docked in Canada before migrating to the United States.

1870 United States Census for Norwalk, Conn

Further Research

  • Did William travel from Ireland with his siblings?
  • Why did William choose to leave Canada and head to Norwalk, Connecticut? Was he following a job opportunity in the shoe-making industry?
  • Did he know the head-of-household, William H. Brown, or any of the other boarders, before moving in?
  • What is the real estate William owned?
Norwalk Connecticut Green in 1855

General View of the Green, Norwalk, Conn. 1855. Unknown Author, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons


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