25 February 2012

They Are Out There... Just Waiting For Me: My Top 10

In just under 30 days, the 1940 US Census will be released, and there are so many of us just itching to get to it. Midnight on April 2 is a hefty deadline.

I started preparing for this major records release a few weeks ago, by gathering names, enumeration districts, dates and information from the 1930 census; all designed to aide in my search. Since the 1940 US Census will not be name indexed upon release, there is some basic information that is essentially required knowledge to get to what you want. Unless, of course, you are willing to spend countless hours scrolling page after page. I just don't have that kind of time.

The first person I am going to try to find is my father. I've never been able to find a still living member of my family in a census before, so it would be quite something to see his name listed. Since he was born in early June of 1940, he really shouldn't be there. Enumerators were supposed to record the family as it existed on April 1 of the year of the census. Which means, even if he knocked on my grandparents door on the first of July, technically, he should not have written down my father's name. We'll see. I have other records from 1920 and 1930 where the enumerator documented someone outside of the instructions. This of course means that Grandma Elsie and Grandpa Harley are persons #2 and #3 on my list. They'll be in Orting, Pierce County, Washington.

It's a strong potential that my great-uncle, who is also still alive, will be on the same page as my grandparents household. He's person #4 to find.

#5 Emma Brown, also a resident in the same town, and likely listed in the same household as my great-uncle.
#6 Charlotte Anderson (Andersson), mother of Emma, Orting, Washington.
#7 The Heerten's of Keya Paha County, Nebraska. They'll all be together. They always are.
#8 Mortimer J. Brown and wife Ethel in Lake County, Oregon. Mortimer died in 1941, so this would be a potential last known document on his life.
#9 Warren L Brown and wife Sousie, possibly on the Klamath Indian Reservation in Klamath, Oregon. After 1930, I lose track of them almost completely.
#10 Summit County, Colorado. I have been so engrossed in researching my new environment, I just can't leave them out. Family names that have absolutely zero biological connection to me (at least, not yet) and I am really anxious to find out who stayed in the area during the depression and who didn't. That era was tough on Summit County; after mining, before skiing. Many left.

I will say this. Don't try to communicate with me on April 2, 3 or 4... I'll be busy.



You can find resources and helpful tools on the 1940 US Census release here: http://the1940census.com/. The project is also seeking volunteers to help index, you can find that information on the above site, also.