Thursday, April 12, 2012

Treasure Chest Thursday - the Seaver 1940 Census Page

It's Treasure Chest Thursday - time to reveal another gem in my treasure chest of genealogy and family history.

This week's treasure is the 1940 United States Census page with my grandfather and my aunt on the page.  

This is Sheet 9-A in Enumeration District 14-181 in Leominster, Worcester County, Massachusetts (accessed on

Lines 19 and 20 provide information about my grandfather, Frederick Seaver and my aunt, Geraldine Seaver, who resided at 90 Main Street (household #202, home rented for $45 per month):

The information for them includes:

*  Frederick Seaver  (gave the information) - Head of household, male, white, age 63, married, 2 years of high school, born Massachusetts, lived in same place in 1935, worked the last week of March 1940 (40 hours), occupation is Foreman, and Industry is Viscoloid, earned $3000 in 1939 in wages, did not make over $50 in other income.

*  Geraldine Seaver - Daughter, female, white, age 22, single, 4 years of college, born Massachusetts, lived in same place in 1935, worked the last week of March 1940 (35 hours), occupation is music teacher, Industry is public school, made $1100 in 1939 in wages, and over $50 in other income.

The most interesting information in these records is the education, employment and salary information.

Frederick W. Seaver worked for the same company for many years.  For the years between 1913 and 1927, the family lived at 290 Central Street in Leominster next to the plant.  Viscoloid was a company that made products out of celluloid, like combs, brushes and hair ornaments.  The Wikipedia article for Leominster, Massachusetts notes that:

"The Viscoloid Company was incorporated in 1901. It was founded by Alexander Paton, the president of the company. He was accompanied by Ludwig Stross and his Secretary and Treasurer Bernard Doyle. In 1902, the partners started the Sterling Comb company which made dress combs and other hair ornaments. The men owned the Viscoloid Company, Harvard Novelty Company, and the Paton Company, but in 1912 the companies were consolidated under the name Viscoloid Company and later the Viscoloid Company Inc. By 1923, the company's capital reached three million dollars and had become the largest employer in Leominster. That same year, Alexander Paton resigned and Bernard Doyle became Chief Executive. He remained Chief until 1925 when the company merged with the DuPont company. The name was then changed to the Dupont Viscoloid Company. The company was the largest in the city, making dress combs, brushes, mirrors, toilet articles, hair ornaments, and other novelties."

The census return indicates that there were six families residing at 90 Main Street in Leominster, so it was some sort of multi-family dwelling place.  

The mystery for me is that my grandmother, Alma Bessie (Richmond) Seaver was not residing with her husband and daughter.  I have looked for and found the families of their three married daughters and she is not residing with them.  I have not found my uncle, Edward R. Seaver, in the census yet -he married later in 1940 and was probably living in an apartment as a single man.   I think that I will have to wait until the index is available to find them.  

A source citation for the record above is:

"1940 United States Federal Census," Worcester County, Massachusetts,  population schedule, Leominster: Enumeration District 14-181, Sheet 9-A, Household #202, Frederick Seaver household; online images, ( : accessed 12 April 2012), citing National Archives Microfilm Publication T627, Roll 1651.

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

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