Gene Notes

Some random and some not-so-random thoughts on family history.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The 1940

Do I really need to add census to that title? Probably not! 

Yeah, I know I said I wasn't going to go looking until the 1940 was indexed, but since I did have one address - my dad's in 1938 - I thought I would go looking. According to the census enumeration district maps, dad was probably living in ED 1608 on block 96 (15766 Ferguson Street in Detroit). Doesn't that sound easy? And it might have been, except when I got to block 96, they weren't there. Neither was the address.

For those of you who haven't used the 1940 census at the National Archives site, you put in the state, county, city, and street and that gives you a chance to put in the closest cross street. I did that, inputting Pilgrim street and it give me ED 1608A and I clicked on the link and browsed through the pages.

When my initial search did not yield my Percival family, I just kept scrolling through the pages until finally I found one of the pages where they went back looking for people whom they'd missed on the first or second go-round.

I was really surprised to see this enumeration:

Line 72 - Percival, John (head)   M W 47 etc
                      John Mary Wife  Son FM  W 19 etc
                             Frank  son     M W 14 etc

I can imagine the census taker and John Percival conversation going like this:

Census taker:  Your name, age, etc.
John:                John Percival, age 47 born in Missouri
Census taker: Your wife? (and census taker scribbling down Grandpa's response)
John:              Mary, but she is deceased.

Hence, the crossed out information.  By this time my grandmother had been deceased for not quite two years, and I am sure the pain was still raw with my grandfather as I have written evidence that she was probably the love of his life.

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

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