Friday, May 11, 2012

Census, 1940 and a 1910!

Copyright 2012, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

I spent a few minutes the last few days looking at the census indexing at  It was announced just this week that 6 states have been fully indexed and are searchable.  One such state was VIRGINIA!  Oh, ya, I can work in Virginia for a VERY long time.  But, since I am short on time, story of my life it seems, I went for the two most important ancestors on my "hit" list at this moment.  My dad and his parents AND my great grandparents.

So, how did I do??  Well, mixed, but, of course.

Let's start with the great-grandparents. The ones with the farm and the cemetery I visited last month. The ones where I have found them on the 1900, 1920 and 1930 census, but had never found them on the 1910, despite line by line searches and mega index searches (including the WPA project index).  Yes, disappointing, but hey, not everyone is enumerated each and every census year.  I had accepted that they just were missed.  Sighing, but accepting.

I had done a line by line of the 1940 of several ED's where I thought they should be.  Nope, as reported I did not find them.  So, now that Virginia is indexed at, I go searching the indexes.  So far, I have not found them in the index, but, guess what I did find??  No kidding - - the 1910!  Well color me tickled.

The search for them on the 1940 will continue.

Now, my dad and his parents.  First try early on the morning of the release, I did not find them.  But, later in the day I did!  They were living I believe in an area around Norfolk Virginia known as Fentress.  I am still working on that.

My grandfather was 44 years old and had finished 1 year of high school.  His occupation data was spot on, he was working at the lumber mill.  My grandmother was 36 years, and here was a bit of a surprise for me, she had only finished 7 years of schooling.  She worked most of her life, in women's clothing, retail.  She was working as a buyer in 1940, spot on again.  Later in life she owned several of her own businesses, very successfully, until the last was taken out by fire during a hurricane.  But, I never dreamed she only had a 7th grade education.  Well, spunk and determination will take you far, eh, gramma?? My dad was 13 years old, had finished 6 years of education and was enumerated as working as a carpenter in a building construction business.  MMMM, not sure bout that folks, as the fellow that was enumerated next on that page was 59 years old, had a wife and two youngsters to provide for, and no employment was shown.  I think this is a case of the enumerator entering data on the wrong line.  Of course, there is no one to ask.

So, 1 found, 1 still MIA.  Not bad for the few minutes I do have for researching lately.  One step at a time, one census find at a time.  I am smiling!

Now, back to that indexing project.  Six states are now fully indexed and searchable at, they are:  Delaware, Colorado, Kansas, Oregon, Virginia, and New Hampshire.  Sit down to read this number:  in just over one month, about 30 % of the census, some 45 million records have been indexed by 100,000 volunteers!  WOWSERS!  There are whispered rumors that if these wonderful indexers keep up at this rate that the entire 1940 could be done by mid summer??  There is a really nice graph of the progress.  Really have a lookie see, save the URL and visit again in a week or so, see how fast those numbers are going up!  Amazing effort, and to me, it just shows the dedication and enthusiasm we genie types have for our sport!  Of course, we all know how enthusiastic we are, but this just proves it to anyone who doubted it!

Thanks to all the indexers and arbitrators.  Job well done!  WOOT!

* The disclaimer, I am am Ambassador for the1940census project,  writing this blog may or may not enter me into a contest.  Just so ya know.


Celia said...

Wonderful result - a great byproduct! I'm now up to 6,000 names indexed, and enjoying the process. I'd done indexing for freeBMD (England) in the past, so this isn't any more difficult, it's just different. Who knows what you'll find tomorrow! Cheers.

Karen said...

Fantastic that you found the data you did! Lucky duck, Virginia being among the first to be indexed. I'll be waiting a long time for South Dakota, methinks!