Well, here I am, looking at this blog and thinking how sad it is that I haven’t posted in so long. Not only that, how long since I’ve done any real research! This year of new job responsibilities plus quite a battle with health issues have made this a VERY different year than I thought it would be!
So last week, while my mother was visiting for the 4th, I decided to FINALLY take a look at the 1940 census to see if I could find her family – although she wasn’t born for a couple of years yet. I used the links that Ancestry has on the home page to use the Stephen Morse and Joel Weintraub work and I pretty quickly found my mother’s grandfather in Franklin, Indiana, by entering the E.D. from their 1930 census but I could not found her family using the same method.
She tried to think of all the places that she had heard about her family living before she was born and I used that information along with my aunt’s birth certificate (she was born in 1939) to discover that the family probably lived in Shelby County. From there, I used the 1940 census Enumeration District map available at the Online Public Access site found at Archives.com. (Find instructions for using this site under Number 3 at http://www.archives.gov/research/census/1940/start-research.html)
Luckily, Shelby County was not a booming metropolis like Chicago or even Indianapolis! I used the Ancestry option of selecting a district within a county to begin a page by page browsing to look for Mom’s family. They weren’t in the same district as the address on my Aunt’s birth certificate, so I began searching districts between that location and the Franklin location where my grandfather lived. As I moved across the county looking for the family, I began to think they would never be found this way. After about 2 hours of searching (and a tiny bit of a census reader’s headache!) I found them! And while I didn’t discover any earth shattering information, we all know that it’s all about collecting all the information we can and I’m happy to have it!