While the NARA site is still dragging along (and word on Twitter is they just took it down to make some changes to try to improve performance), I’ve been watching Ancestry and FamilySearch. FS is uploading states that are of no use to me in 1940. Even if I have a few stray entries in my database who might be there, I would need the index to find them.
Ancestry, on the other hand, is keeping me happy today. One of their earliest states to be uploaded was Maine. I have people from Maine. Unfortunately, by 1940, most of them had left for California. But I did find Bernard Wolfe in 1942 still in Maine. I looked up the ED but didn’t find him. Using their 1930-1950 records, I found that he was in Boston from 1930-1939. His trail ran out in the Boston directory for 1940. Was he back in Maine? I searched about six EDs around the one and still didn’t find him.
Onward… they were adding New York. I saw Bronx county and checked my database. Noticing some people in the Bronx around the right time, I switched over to the NYPL 1940 phone directories and found one address among the surnames. I had one other 1941 document for Rose Tabashnick with an address, so I took those over to Steve Morse’s ED Finder, then headed back to Ancestry. But the EDs weren’t listed. And so I waited and refreshed as they added more. Eventually one showed up, and I found the listing that matched the phone book, but he didn’t match my person.
Finally the other ED showed up. I started scanning the pages for Tabashnick. I found Miller. Pesach Miller, with wife Rebecca, daughter Rose, daughter Larry (daughter?), son Eddie, daughter Bella Blumenfeld, and her husband Joe. Also notable is that this is a rare family where no one is marked as having given the census information. So who was the informant?
Of interest is that in 1941, Rose was married. This certainly narrows down her date of marriage, which I don’t have. Also, this saves me from searching for several of Pesach’s kids, as they are still living with him, including one married daughter.
Other things I noticed included that everyone had only an eighth grade education, save for Eddie, and an interesting mix of aliens, naturalized citizens, and those with papers. This entire family was born in Poland.
It also further reinforces that the birth order I had for the kids was wrong. Though I had an order, I didn’t even have estimated dates for many. By the way, Pesach is the brother of my great-grandfather, so we’re getting a bit distant.
I will likely keep looking for people this way, but I don’t have that many 1940 addresses. I’ll see who I can find in the NYC phone directories, and look for them bit by bit as I can get the images, but beyond that, I think I’d be more productive indexing. I just saw on Twitter that indexing should get going around 10pm tonight. I hope Ancestry keeps working on New York until then.
Did you find anyone yet? Or are you waiting to index?
The URL of this article is http://idogenealogy.com/blog/2012/04/02/1940-us-census-second-success/.