Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Finding 1940 Census Locations

We started recording 1940 U.S. census enumeration districts (EDs) for our closest relatives using Stephen P. Morse's very helpful website. Dick's parents and paternal grandmother lived in Cleveland, a city for which the EDs have been indexed. To find their ED we used Obtaining EDs for the 1940 Census in One Step (Large Cities) and with their cross streets quickly got the number. My great aunt in Lakewood, a nearby suburb, was equally easy. My parents lived in North Olmsted, a small town/suburb, that only had two EDs. The written descriptions show the town was divided by the main east-west road so all I needed to know was whether they were north or south of it.

We couldn't find his maternal grandmother as easily. She was widowed in January of 1939. We knew that she moved, but not when or where, or if more than once. Luckily the Cuyahoga County deeds are all available online. A search for her name in the appropriate time frame turned up a deed from November 1939. At that time she bought the house where Dick remembers her living. It is highly likely that she moved in before April 1st of 1940. We had to add several street names, looking at a map, before we could narrow down her ED, but we think we are ready for all our closest relatives in this area.

Now, it is just a little over 32 days!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

1940 U.S. Census - Just Over a Month

1940 advertisement illustration
The 1940 U.S. Census will open to the public on Monday, April 2nd. For the first time it will be provided digitally online at the beginning. My husband and I won't be there, but our families will. Finding them will require a little work because there is no index...yet. I've given a talk to the Computer Assisted Genealogy Group - Cleveland Area (CAGG-CA) on the census and current finding aids. Wally Huskonen has been giving talks and on Saturday, March 3, 2012, he is presenting a workshop for the Genealogical Institute at the Western Reserve Historical Society. Reservations and a fee are required. Please check the website and registration form. I've also signed up with this blog as a 1940 census blog ambassador. I'll be posting more in the days before the 1940 census comes online.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Two Degrees of Separation - SNGF

Today Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun in his Genea-Musings blog has a fun feature asking us to report on our family link's to the past. The requirement is:

Using your ancestral lines, how far back in time can you go with two degrees of separation?  That means "you knew an ancestor, who knew another ancestor."  When was that second ancestor born?

My life overlapped that of one of my great grandparents on my mother's side. Effie (Irion) Bell (1860-1948) did not die until I was four. I don't clearly remember her, but my older sister knew her well. Effie grew up near all four of her grandparents and knew them well. The lives of her two maternal great grandmothers overlapped her own. They were Jemima (Hutchings/Hutchinson) Irion (1779-1868) and Mary Ann "Polly" (Cooper) Trotter (1776-1867). It is likely she knew them both at least a little. In this line my two degrees of separation link me to women born in 1776 and 1779, back to the time of the American Revolution.

Effie (Irion) Bell
I am particularly interested in this line because of a third degree of separation. I vaguely knew my great grandmother, Effie (Irion) Bell. My sister knew her well and heard the family stories from her.  Effie grew up close to her grandmother, Mary (Trotter) Irion (1811-1900). Mary was a great storyteller and along with her sister Phoebe (Trotter) Willey (1818-1906) passed on the stories they learned from their paternal grandmother. "Mad Anne" Bailey was a locally famous woman of the frontier around present day Charleston, West Virginia. Anne (Hennis) Trotter Bailey (ca. 1742-1825), an English immigrant, lived with her son's family in Gallia County, Ohio, in her later days and was close to her granddaughters passing down her stories to them. I've long felt that the connection truly goes back to her through the lives and stories of her descendants. See the sidebar for a link to my page on her.