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Old 03-27-2012, 06:13 PM
Sampiro Sampiro is offline
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A Reminder for Doper Genealogists: it's one week until 1940

I'm positively geeky-giddy over the release of the 1940 Census on April 2. Among other things the 1940 Census (blank form) asked the family's income for the previous year, which I'm really interested to learn (though I'm guessing there was a lot of lying that went on).

For me this will include my parents (both minors), my four grandparents, and either six or seven great-grandparents (one died in February 1940, so I'm not sure how or if he'd be counted). One of my great-grandfathers was a cantankerous small town doctor who seemed to wait with relish for the Census guy to come around every 10 years because he told him some whopper lies (he was 64 in one Census, ten years later he was 49 [in fact he was nowhere near either], was married 3 times according to one census [he was married once]- the names of his children changed- it's clear he was yanking a chain) and this one asks about money- he probably either claimed to earn $30,000 per month or $12 per year.

Anyway, a reminder for anybody who has let their membership to Ancestry lapse.

Also, I wanted to make the offer that if anybody wants copies of any of their own relatives Census pages when it comes out then let me know. For the first few days I'm going to look up some info on my own families and explore the other parts of the Census so it won't be immediate, but send me PMs to remind me and unless I get 2,000 requests I will get to you.
------------------

Feel free to post any Genealogy Stuff in general in here, 1940 or Otherwise.
  #2  
Old 03-27-2012, 06:19 PM
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I'm working indexing records for Family Search (the free portion of Ancestry.com), and I'm looking forward to entering them. Census records are fascinating, even if you don't know anyone involved.
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:44 PM
Pai325 Pai325 is offline
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I'm really excited, too. I know where all my direct ancestors were in 1940, so I'm not going to find out anything about them, but my great-aunts and uncles and their children, and other connections who just moved away, are out there to be found!

RealityChuck, I didnt realize Ancestry and Family Search were connected. I know Family Search is from the LDS church, but I didn't know Ancestry was, too. I find things on Family Search all he time that aren't available on Ancestry. I love that site!
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:39 PM
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I think Google should do more to market their use for genealogy. They already have a book digitization service, they're the premiere search engine for public records, the best image search, and they have templates. I think with some well placed millions they could give Ancestry some much needed competition. (LexisNexis talked about this a few years back but then the economy tanked and I think they rethought it.)

I wish there were more sites where you could upload/download/search photos of ancestors. I have several photographs (some original, some copies) of ancestors, many of whom have hundreds if not thousands of living descendants, and I've shared them on Ancestry and on Flickr, but wish there was a one-stop 'deadancestorpics.org' for people without ancestry memberships that would allow people to focus a search a bit more.

Last edited by Sampiro; 03-27-2012 at 09:40 PM.
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:58 AM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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I myself am dreading it. Perhaps I can call in sick to work for the next... several months. Or only when I see a genealogist coming.
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:05 AM
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How does one view the census records? Are they indexed online?
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:22 AM
Edward The Head Edward The Head is offline
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RealityChuck, I didnt realize Ancestry and Family Search were connected. I know Family Search is from the LDS church, but I didn't know Ancestry was, too. I find things on Family Search all he time that aren't available on Ancestry. I love that site!
They really aren't connected. They share some things, but not a lot. They are sharing the 1940 census records, probably because they know it's stupid to have multiple places doing the indexing and transcription.

I'm not too excited about the census, I'll look for them of course, but I'm not going to jump right on it. I know about where my ancestors lived, but not really excited about searching for them by 'hand'. I may do so for my one of the great grandmothers though as she's a mystery and I'd like to find out more about her.

I do need to look and see who's still alive in 1940, and who lives together.
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:34 AM
Edward The Head Edward The Head is offline
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How does one view the census records? Are they indexed online?
If you want the 1940 census they will be available online but without an index now. Older records can be found at Ancestry.com or Family Search. Family Search is free, though they do not have all of the census records and they sometimes kick you over to Ancestry. The older records are indexed.
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:38 AM
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How on Earth do you find anything in the online link at the archives? Obviously it's not just random. Is it by address?
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:07 AM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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That's why we all wait for indexes and buy products that have them.
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:18 AM
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Egads, when I started my gene research, I was limited to the 1900 census and earlier.
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:23 AM
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I'm looking forward to seeing if I can locate my FIL, who was working in the CCC camps in the 1940 timeframe.
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:48 PM
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I had a genealogical breakthrough just two days ago. I've known the names of 15 of my g-g-grandparents for many years but was missing the surname of #16. I finally found her, along with her extensive pedigree. So I now have a complete Seize Quartiers!

While Googling around I found that the Atlanta Constitution pages from 1892 are on-line ( ) but a credit card is required even for the "7 day free trial." ( ). Any kind soul with access willing to e-mail me a page or two?
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Old 03-28-2012, 01:42 PM
Edward The Head Edward The Head is offline
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While Googling around I found that the Atlanta Constitution pages from 1892 are on-line ( ) but a credit card is required even for the "7 day free trial." ( ). Any kind soul with access willing to e-mail me a page or two?
Have you tried Google books or even project Gutenberg? There's also Open Library, and the National Archives as well. If it's on Ancestry or Newspaper Archives let me know and I can pull them for you.
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:23 PM
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Have you tried Google books or even project Gutenberg? There's also Open Library, and the National Archives as well. If it's on Ancestry or Newspaper Archives let me know and I can pull them for you.
I have an Ancestry account, and it has Atlanta Constitution, but not for 1892 and The Atlanta Constitution May 5, 1892; pg. 4 is what I wanted.
Yet that page does seem to be on-line elsewhere, e.g.
http://www.fold3.com/document/84240944/
Newspaper Archives seems to include Atlanta Constitution but I don't know if it, like Ancestry, omits year 1892.

Yesterday I found a page that would show very brief excerpt for free, but can't find it now. IIRC, my second most desirable page is May 4, 1892; pg. 5.
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:50 PM
Edward The Head Edward The Head is offline
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Newspaper Archives seems to include Atlanta Constitution but I don't know if it, like Ancestry, omits year 1892.

Yesterday I found a page that would show very brief excerpt for free, but can't find it now. IIRC, my second most desirable page is May 4, 1892; pg. 5.
Well I just checked Newspaper Archive and they do not have any of those papers, they are missing 1891 AND 1892. That's probably why Ancestry doesn't have a copy either. You might just want to pony up for the 7 days and make sure to cancel it.
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:56 PM
Sampiro Sampiro is offline
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So I now have a complete Seize Quartiers!
Congrats, and speaking of...

can somebody please write out phonetically how to say Seize Quartiers? I was wondering this recently. Should it rhyme with maize and Poitier?
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:45 PM
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In the 1930s my great-grandparents took two of their kids and moved from Kansas to California, leaving my then 16 year old grandfather behind. We have no letters or anything from my grandfather to them after they left and no records as to where they ended up in California. We have a very common last name so I've hit nothing but roadblocks in my research. The 1940 Census is going to be a huge help in finding them.
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:09 PM
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I think Google should do more to market their use for genealogy. They already have a book digitization service, they're the premiere search engine for public records, the best image search, and they have templates. I think with some well placed millions they could give Ancestry some much needed competition. (LexisNexis talked about this a few years back but then the economy tanked and I think they rethought it.)

I wish there were more sites where you could upload/download/search photos of ancestors. I have several photographs (some original, some copies) of ancestors, many of whom have hundreds if not thousands of living descendants, and I've shared them on Ancestry and on Flickr, but wish there was a one-stop 'deadancestorpics.org' for people without ancestry memberships that would allow people to focus a search a bit more.
The only thing I know of that comes remotely close is findagrave.com. Many people (including me) have appended photos to the burial records. I don't know of a strictly 'photos of ancestors' site. That would be one hell of a database.

I'll be interested to see the 1940 census as well. It was a transition period for my parents. Since the 1930 record, they had met, gotten married, had two children, and my father had started to explore work in Alaska.

The Google Books search engine is a huge help, and they add more all the time. It seems that FTM had started putting old reference books on line years ago, but I don't know what happened with that effort. A really good site for old public records that I haven't seen mentioned is one called American Ancestors. It's part of the NEHGS. Tons of documents such as wills, probate records, etc. Another site, which is for war records is Fold 3.
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:08 AM
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My sister, as I half-expected she would, enrolled for 7 days at fold3 (and will probably neglect/forget to cancel). I'll volunteer to do a few searches for Dopers, if she agrees. It will take me a while to learn what's available and how to do searches.

The pages I asked for are just brief death notices of my ancestor (the husband of the 16th surname who excited me). I'd hoped to at least confirm names for his parents, but no. I have learned why he's been so hard to search for: both of these pages, his tombstone, and the Ancestry tree that named his wife all omit his first name -- it seems he always went by just his initials.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sampiro View Post
Congrats, and speaking of...

can somebody please write out phonetically how to say Seize Quartiers?
Says Car Tee A

Quote:
Should it rhyme with maize and Poitier?
Pretty much, except the "oi" in Poitier doesn't quite work.
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:38 AM
Edward The Head Edward The Head is offline
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The pages I asked for are just brief death notices of my ancestor (the husband of the 16th surname who excited me). I'd hoped to at least confirm names for his parents, but no. I have learned why he's been so hard to search for: both of these pages, his tombstone, and the Ancestry tree that named his wife all omit his first name -- it seems he always went by just his initials.
You can try Ancestor Hunters mailing list. They will help with looks ups as well, though it seems you already have a subscription.

I looked last night and I think I have 15 ancestors who were alive for the 1940 census. I'll probably have to find 5-6 records all together. A couple of them will be pretty easy to find I think, the others might take some work.
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Old 04-02-2012, 12:34 PM
Edward The Head Edward The Head is offline
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Well it's out, but the Archives site is slow, I haven't gotten it to load a page yet. Ancestry has some, but not many images. If Family Search has them I have not been able to find them. I thought that they would all be the same images, but Ancestry suggests that they are making the images themselves.
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:39 PM
Sampiro Sampiro is offline
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I had thought today was the day they made the records public- that they were basically buying the already digitized records from the Census. Apparently they're still digitizing the damned things.

I wonder what safeguards are in place to prevent another records disaster like the burning of the 1921 fire that destroyed the 1890 Census or the 1973 NARA fire. You would think that with today's digitization technology all of the hard copy Census records would all be uploaded and backed up and duplicated on lots of different hard drives all over the country, but I'll bet you'd be wrong.
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Old 04-05-2012, 01:34 PM
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I tried it 3 days ago. Too slow to be useful but the next morning it was working okay.

Fortunately, almost all our close relatives were still living in the same places at the time we came along later, so addresses and such are no problem.

But sheesh. Forget not having a name index. The maps and other info they have to track things down are horrible. For instance, the census maps are color coded, orange lines denote enumeration districts, etc. But the maps are scanned in gray scale. Ack!

The map of the area where my parents/grandparents were looks like it was done by someone guessing where roads might be and had never seen the area. And the map of Mrs. FtG's hometown they have corresponds to nothing like the actual map of the place. Went thru the wrong enumeration district completely on the first try.

But anyway. I have both my parents (and their parents) and one set of Mrs. FtG's family. (The other were sort of dispersed at the time.)

For more distant folk, I think I'm going to try to get census location info from the earlier censuses and try those.

I now have 5 straight censuses where Mrs. FtG's grandmother's name is spelled the same way. And in this one the grandmother has the circle-x next to her name which means she supplied the information. Maybe I'll finally be believed when I say that she's been spelling it wrong all along.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:03 PM
Pai325 Pai325 is offline
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Well, my husband is from Chicago, and I couldn't find the ward or the ED on the maps they gave, so he will have to wait fora name index.

My dad, however, is from one of the suburbs, and I was able to figure out the ED. There were only 56 pages, so I scrolled through them and really enjoyed it. My grandparents and aunts and uncle were there, but in the pages I found quite a few great-aunts and uncles, second cousins, cousins once or twice removed, and aunts and uncles-to-be. I saw people I never would have thought of looking for.

So one good thing for me today!
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:14 PM
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I'm trying to find my paternal grandmother (she and my grandfather were separated and no mention of her is made on my grandfather's entry) and also her parents, who I don't know if she was living with them or not. Her parents lived in a small town in Alabama and I've found the town but can't find them. Will have to wait for the index.

I've found my mother's immediate family. I'm looking for her paternal grandparents; they lived on a farm in Middle-of-Nowhere, Alabama but their census taker had a large sparsely populated geographic area with seemingly thousands of residents.

I wish they'd let people help them by entering the results they find into the index. (They can always change them later, but meanwhile an index with errors is better than no index.)
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:23 PM
Pai325 Pai325 is offline
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I wish they'd let people help them by entering the results they find into the index. (They can always change them later, but meanwhile an index with errors is better than no index.)
I do too! I'd happily index the 56 pages of parts of Northfield Township, but I don't think they let you choose if you volunteer. I think both ancestry and family search are looking for volunteer indexers, but I don't think you get to choose.
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:38 AM
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Ancestry, as of last night, has a name index complete for Nevada and Delaware. Progress.
  #29  
Old 04-06-2012, 10:40 AM
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Well, I found my mom's parents after a bit of librarian detective work (seems Sidney St. is a fuck of a long street in Pittsburgh, but I knew they lived behind St. Joseph's Hospital which is no longer there but, etc. etc.) and just had to skim through about 20 pages, my browser crashing maybe six or seven times, but there's no telling with my dad's folks.

If there had been one fewer neighbor, though, my great grandmother would have been one of the two on each page to get the extra questions.
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Old 04-06-2012, 01:07 PM
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I really have to pity the indexers. Many census images seem almost illegible to me.

One person born in "Missouri" was indexed as "Wisconsin." When I looked at census image I was amazed to see that the "Missouri" could easily be mistaken as "Wisconsin."

I suspect there are many mysteries which should be solvable that are hidden from us by bad handwriting, bad transcriptions, and, in some cases, by pollee lies. (Though lies can cut both ways. One ancestral surname showed up for me because a young woman gave the census-taker her maiden name even though census was taken a few months after her marriage. Marital spat?)
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Old 04-06-2012, 09:53 PM
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I found my husband in Chicago. I used the ED from 1930 to find the ED in 1940. That ED had three different groups,Bo's I took them in order. Of course he was in the third. The first two had large, clear handwriting - you know where I'm going with this, don't you?

Anyway, he was right where he said he would be. He squeaked into the 1940 census so it was nice to see his name.

I did notice on ancestry that whoever put the images online seemed to change viewers here and there. 90% of the images had the page forward in the upper right corner, but the other 10% were different and had it in the middle. I had to scroll through 75 pages or so to get to my husband and his family, and it threw me off my rhythm. I will take it over loading microfilm and cranking that machine anytime, however.
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:09 PM
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An interesting thing about income:

It's only for people who drew wages. The income for my grandfather and great-grandparents who were farmers, all of whom owned their own farms, is not given; the income of farm laborers on the farms they owned and on other farms is given, including family members (e.g. my great-grandparents had a 17 year old grandson whose income for working on their farm is given as $120), but the farmowners income isn't given.
My grandfather who was a construction foreman earned $2,940. His house, a bungalow that is still standing, that was probably smack-dab-middle-class when he built it and that today would not be the nicest or the worst house in any 1920s section of town, was appraised at an appalling $800; I figure that it's because the Depression was ending and he lived in a tiny town, but I've seen houses no nicer than that appraised for more than that in 1910.

I saw one person, a black man, listed as farm laborer whose income was listed as $1,800. I figure he must have been basically a farm manager of a large farm (who, because he was black, couldn't be called an actual manager) because that's several times the usual for the farm laborers I saw (most of whom were in the $200-$400 range. Teachers I've seen ranged from $900 per year to $1600 per year; schoolbus drivers earned about $1,000 per year. (In rural Alabama at that time the white schools went about 7-8 months per year [they let out for a month at harvest, a month at planting, and then part of the summer and a longer-than-now Christmas-New Years break]; black schools went about 5 months per year.)

Something I've seen several times in "Highest grade of school completed" was H1. I've also seen H2 and H3. Does anybody know what this means? (Usually it just gives a number- my grandfathers, for example, were 7 and 9 for highest grade completed, which I'd assume meant 7th and 9th grades; they were born in 1892 and 1893 respectively so that was about average for the white working classes of rural Alabama; you rarely see higher than 6 for blacks for the simple reason that few counties even had a black high school.)
  #33  
Old 04-10-2012, 09:57 PM
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Something I've seen several times in "Highest grade of school completed" was H1. I've also seen H2 and H3. Does anybody know what this means? (Usually it just gives a number- my grandfathers, for example, were 7 and 9 for highest grade completed, which I'd assume meant 7th and 9th grades; they were born in 1892 and 1893 respectively so that was about average for the white working classes of rural Alabama; you rarely see higher than 6 for blacks for the simple reason that few counties even had a black high school.)
I asked my mom about that - she was pretty sure H1 meant 9th grade, H2 10th, etc. One of my great uncles was listed as H4 and she knew he graduated high school, but did not attend college. Another was listed as H2 and was 15 years old at the time.

Thanks to the National Archives, I was able to locate the ward in which my mom's family resided in Minneapolis. I drive past the house she grew up in at least twice a week, have heard stories about the neighbor kids, it's neat to flesh out some of her stories (The dad that was never around next door? He was a policeman for the railroad). I did have to break it to her that her aunt and uncle did not live two doors down "forever" as she thought.

I still can't find my dad's family. Legend was that he was born in Iowa. Or in Platteville, WI. Or Eau Claire, WI. Or LaCrosse, WI. Ugh.
  #34  
Old 04-14-2012, 03:17 PM
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Well, I am happy to report that I have located both my mother and father's families on the 1940 census. Granted that it was after several long searches but my mother's family was actually easy to find because they were in Delaware in Wilmington and I knew their address. Now a mystery surrounds what happened to their landlords, my grandmother's aunt and uncle--they rented an apartment in the house from them, but neither are listed as resident at the house. Strange.

My Dad's family was a bit harder to locate, because I was looking at the wrong address! My grandfather had a job during the depression (as did my other grandfather, so both families were fortunate in that), he worked at a dairy, and they lived at the farm. My dad had told me that they moved into town in 1939, so I was looking in town. But lo and behold, they were still on the farm when the census was taken in April of 1940. It is much harder to find people in the countryside, btw, unless you have some idea of what the address was. I was able to figure out what enumeration district they were in, and narrowed it down a bit, and finally found them!

I also found my partner's grandparents; his mother was in college at the time but his aunt and uncle were still in high school and were listed, as were a couple of their cousins who lived with them. I don't think any of that generation is still alive, unfortunately, and it's only he and his sister of their generation still living. He was very glad to see his grandparents and his mother and other relatives on the census, though.

This was all done off the archives.gov website, btw. The Delaware census, at least for Wilmington, was indexed, at least the incorporated part of Wilmington. I have some other family I'm still looking for. It's very hard to find out what the enumeration districts were when the listings are: "east of B&O railroad..." i.e., things that just aren't there any longer!

Good luck to others who are searching!
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