William Askew was born circa 1867 in Georgia to George Askew and Harriet (née Berry) Askew.
The 1880 U.S. Census confirms that William was indeed born in Georgia. At the time it was enumerated, William Askew was 13 years old and living in District 486 in Henry County, GA. He lived in this home with his parents and siblings: James (age 24), William (age 20), Francis (age 18), Hellin (age 16), Emmer M. (age 14), Salley (age 7), and Bird (age 26). All family members have their race listed as Mulatto.
George Askew’s occupation was a farmer and Harriet’s (sometimes seen as Harriate) occupation was “keeping house.” All of the children, except for Salley, have their occupation listed as Laborer. All workers in the family, minus Harriet, were employed. In addition, none of the family members, parents included, had ever attended school and were all unable to read and write.
In 1900, William Askew was the head of his own household and had been married to Lizzie (née Davidson) for 10 years. The census record reports the Askews lived on a farm in a mortgaged home that they owned in the Jonesboro District of Clayton County, Georgia. It reveals that William Askew was born in the month of May and Lizzie was born in December.
Lizzie had given birth to 8 children, but only 5 of them were living in 1900. The children in the home at the time of enumeration were: Della May (age 9), Ossie (age 7), Willie (age 5), Rogers (age 3), and Roy (age 1). Della May and Ossie also attended school. All family members have their race listed as Black.
William’s occupation was a farmer. Lizzie was a housewife. Both of them were able to read, write, and speak English.
The 1910 Census Records are a bit confusing. William is listed as being born in 1859 and his age as 51. Is this an error? What if William Askew was not really sure of his actual date of birth? William was roughly 32 or 33 years old in 1900. So, in 1910 he should only be 42 or 43 years old. I have no understanding of what happened here.
Mysterious estimated year of birth aside, in 1910 the Askew family still resided in the Jonesboro District of Clayton County, Georgia. This census reports that the home they resided in was a rented home on a farm. William and Lizzie had been married for 21 years. Lizzie had given birth to a total of 13 children with only 9 of them surviving. The surviving children in the home at this time were: Della (age 18), Osceola (age 16), Willie (age 14), Rogers (age 12), Roy (age 11), Floyd (age 7), Nettie (age 6), Dewey (age 4), and Lish (age 2). This time, all family members have their race listed as Mulatto.
Unlike the 1900 Census Record, this census reports that William was unable to read and write. His occupation was still a farmer, but he was working on a general farm on his “own account.” Lizzie was still a housewife and it is documented on this census record that she could read and write.
The 1920 Census was the last census to document William Askew. At the time of enumeration, William was 53 years of age and Lizzie was 51. The family was living in a rented home on a farm on Roundtreeb(?) Road in the Jonesboro District of Clayton County, GA. I am almost positive that this is now Roundtree Road in Riverdale, GA.
In the home with William and Lizzie were : Floyd (age 21) and his wife, Bertha (age 21), Dewey (age 15), Nettie (age 17), Lish (age 12), and Jenett (age 9). William’s wife and children are listed as Mulatto, while William is listed as Black.
William’s occupation was still a farmer and he was working on a general farm. The census documented that he could not read nor write. Once again, this conflicts with the 1900 Census that recorded otherwise.
According to the Georgia, Death Index, 1919-1998, William Askew died 7 years after the enumeration of the 1920 U.S. Census on February 28, 1927, in Clayton County, GA. I estimate that he was about 59 or 60 years old. His cause of death is unknown to me at this time.