Living Arrangements


Photograph taken by Horace Smith of duplex home in 49/51 Park Street, circa 1905. Sourced from:


Mill worker housing in Main Street, date unknown. Sourced from:

Living Arrangements

 The U.S Census for 1910 defines a dwelling as a place in which at the time of the census, one or more persons regularly sleep in. A family is defined as a group of persons living together in the same dwelling place, not strictly defined by kin.

What were the familial compositions of homes in 1910?

    The definition of "family" used in the 1910 census is not limited to those who share blood relations, but rather encompasses all who live together in the same household - families were very diverse. In a single home there could be a nuclear family (parents and their children) as well as extended family such as in-laws, cousins, and domestic workers. The commonality of multifamily dwellings in the form of duplexes and tenements contributes to the diversity and large sizes of families in Willimantic a little over a century ago. This can be seen in the statistics, as there were 490 unique or distinct families and 1.28 of them per dwelling. Hence, one can conclude the number of families surpassed that of dwellings at the time because multiple families often lived in the same spaces. Another factor for the large and diverse numbers of families in dwellings is the large influx of immigrants at the time resulting in a strain for housing. Multigenerational homes were also common place in 1910 Willimantic. Here are some basic statistics:


  • 382 dwellings
  • 28.35 people on average per dwelling

Family compositions

  • 490 unique families
  • 1.28 families per dwelling

Household member relations

  The census in Willimantic for the year 1910 lists relations between household members. I have divided them in the categories of nuclear family, extended family, workers, and other.

Nuclear family: Wife, Father, Mother, Daughter, Son, Brother, Adopted daughter, Adopted son, Half-brother, Stepson, Stepdaughter

Extended family: Nephew, Niece, Grandfather, Grandmother, Cousin, Cousin-in-law, Son-in-law, Sister-in-law, Brother-in-law, Daughter-in-law, Mother-in-law, Stepgrandson, Stepgranddaughter

Workers:Assistant, Nurse, Chauffeur, Clerk, Coachman, Cook, Bellboy, Chambermaid, Housekeeper, Maid, Hired-man, Porter, Servant, and Waitress.  

Other: Lodger, Roomer, Inmate, HEAD

Future work will expand on this topic.

Living Arrangements