Saturday, April 7, 2012

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - A Genealogy Easter Egg Hunt

It's Saturday Night, let's have some Genealogy Fun!  

Remember those Easter egg hunts you had when you were a kid? Or you hosted when you were a parent or grandparent of small children (or even big children...)? Remember the happiness and joy you had finding the eggs hidden in the garden or the field? And the goodies sometimes found inside them? I'm really looking forward to the Easter egg hunt in our front yard for Lolo and Audrey on Sunday morning.  

I have a Genealogy Easter Egg Hunt for you! Here's the directions: 

1. Pick a target family that you want to find in the 1940 U.S. Census.

2. Determine their street address if you can using the available information (see How Can I Find Out Where My Folks Lived in 1940? for ideas).

3. When you find an address, go to Google Maps or the NARA Enumeration District maps website (, or on ( to find the specific block that your target family resided.  Note the two cross streets and the back street for that block.

4. Go to the Steve Morse Unified 1940 Census ED Finder ( and enter your state, county, and street information in order to find the Enumeration district number for the target family.

5.  Use the FREE 1940 census collection (  or the FREE 1940 census collection ( to see the census images for your target state, county and Enumeration District.  

6.  Navigate page to page to find your target family.  If you find the target family, show us!  And save the page to your computer hard drive.

7.  Those are your genealogy Easter Eggs! Enjoy them - browse some more! If not, try again with another target family.

8.. Tell us all about it on your blog, or in comments to this blog, or in a Facebook Status, or a Google Plus Stream post.

Here's mine:

1.  My target family was Fred R. Shaw (1909-1967), who was married in 1935 to Edith (1913-2001) in 1935 in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.  I believe that he resided in Leominster, Worcester County, Massachusetts in 1940, but I don't know his address.  He may have resided in Fitchburg also, or some other  nearby town.

2.  I could not find him in the Fitchburg or Leominster City Directories for 1940 (on, so I switched to his mother, Grace R. Shaw.  I found her in the 1940 Cuity Directory on (page 314).  She resided at 103 Walton.

3.  I used Google Maps to determine that the block with 103 Walton is bounded by Pine, Rollstone, Laurel and Walton.

4.  The Steve Morse Unified 1940 Census ED Finder told me that the Enumeration district was 14-70.  

5.  I used the 1940 Census collection to browse through the 20 images for this ED.  

6.  I found Grace R. Shaw  listed at 103 Walton residing with Ethel Allison.  They were on Roll 1647 of the NARA microfilms (obtained from the URL for the image).  

7.  Grace was age 63, a housekeeper, widowed, 8 years of school, born Connecticut, resided in the same house in 1935; employed the last week of March, worked 56 hours that week, occupation is housekeeper, industry was private home, earned no salary in 1939, made more than $50 in other income in 1939.  

This took me about 15 minutes to do, even with the hiccup of not finding Fred Shaw in the City Directory.  

That was so much fun, i'm going to do another.  

1)  Target family is the Severt Leland family, who I believe resided in Redwood City, San Mateo County, California.  This is my wife's grandparents.

2)  I did not find them in the 194`1 Redwood City Directory on, nor in the 1939 Directory.

Plan B is to find my wife's grandmother, Edna Schaffner, who resided at 46 Rivoli Street in San Francisco.  

3)  Google Maps revealed that the block with 46 Rivoli Street was  bounded by Rivoli, Cole, Belvedere and Alma.  

4.  The Steve Morse Unified 1940 Census ED Finder told me that the Enumeration District was 38-361.  

5.  I used the 1940 Census collection to browse through the 30 images for this ED.  

6.  I found Edna C. Schaffner listed at 46 Rivoli Street residing with her son-in-law, Blair Mertes.  They were on Roll 311 of the NARA microfilms (obtained from the URL for the image).  

7.  Edna was mother-in-law, age 55, widowed, 8 years of education, born in California, did not work in the last week of March 1840, Unable to work, no occupation or industry, received no salary or wages in 1939, and did not earn more than $50 in 1939 in other income.

It was interesting because her granddaughter, Jean Mertes (age 6), was on line 68 and was sampled, but the only useful information was that her parents were born in California, and she was not a descendant of a veteran.

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Surname Saturday - GREENMAN (England > Rhode Island)

It's Surname Saturday, and I'm "counting down" my Ancestral Name List each week.  I am now up to number 379, who is Judith Greenman (1694-1786), one of my 6th-great-grandparents. [Note: The 6th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts] 

My ancestral line back through three generations of GREENMAN ancestral families is

1. Randall J. Seaver

2. Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983)
3. Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002)

4. Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942)
5. Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962)

10. Thomas Richmond (1848-1917)
11. Julia White (1848-1913)

22. Henry Arnold White ((1824-1885)
23. Amy Frances Oatley (1826-before 1870)

46.  Jonathan Oatley (1790-1872)
47.  Amy Champlin (1798-1865) 

94.  Joseph Champlin (1758-1850)
95.  Nancy Kenyon (1765-????) 

188. Elijah Champlin (1730-1779)
189.  Phoebe Card (1730-1787) 

378.  Job Card, born 02 September 1690 in New Shoreham, Newport, Rhode Island, United States; died before 1760 in South Kingstown, Washington, Rhode Island, United States.  He was the son of 756. Job Card and 757. Martha Acres.  He married before 1718 in probably Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island, United States.
379.  Judith Greenman, born about 1694 in Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island, United States; died 1786 in Charlestown, Washington, Rhode Island, United States.  
Children of Job Card and Judith Greenman are:  Job Card (1718-1777); Joseph Card (1720-????); Joshua Card (1722-1808); Martha Card (1724-????); Prudence Card (1726-1774); John Card (1728-1803); Phoebe Card (1730-1787); Jonathan Card (1732-1810).

758.  Thomas Greenman, born 1669 in Newport, Newport, Rhode Island, United States; died before 14 October 1728 in South Kingstown, Washington, Rhode Island, United States.  He married before 1690 in Rhode Island, United States.
759.  Mary Weeden, born about 1673 in Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island, United States; died before 08 August 1743 in South Kingstown, Washington, Rhode Island, United States.  She was the daughter of 1518. William Weeden and 1519. Sarah Peckham.
Children of Thomas Greenman and Mary Weeden are:  Sylvanus Greenman (1690-1763); Silas Greenman (1692-1778); Judith Greenman (1694-1786).

1516.  Edward Greenman, born about 1626 in England; died 1688 in Newport, Newport, Rhode Island, United States.  He was the son of 3032. John Greenman.  He married  1661 in Newport, Newport, Rhode Island, United States.
1517.  Mary, born about 1628 in England.
Children of Edward Greenman and Mary are:  Edward Greenman (1663-1749); John Greenman (1666-1727); Mary Greenman (1667-1747); Thomas Greenman (1669-1728); William Greenman (1671-1732)

The information about these two Greenman families was obtained from the book:

Peter Holden Greenman, The Greenman Family in America (Cohasset, Mass.: Greenman Family Association, 1988).

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Friday, April 6, 2012

Celebrity 1940 US Census Records Collection

I've been seeing lots of tweets (on Twitter) about celebrity finds in the 1940 U.S. Census, so I decided to collect them here:

*  What the Heinleins Told the 1940 Census by the writer of the File 770 blog.  Apparently, they lied!

*  Chuck Norris and How I Found Him on the 1940 Census by Thomas MacEntee on the1940Census blog.  Carlos Norris, eh?

*  The 1940 Census: A New Way to Gawk at Celebrities on the Time Magazine Newsfeed.  Lawrence Rockefeller, J.D. Salinger and others.

*  1940 U.S. Census: Celebrity Records Discovered on MyHeritage by Aaron on the MyHeritage blog.  Elvis Presley, Albert Einstein, Charlie Chaplin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Al Capone, Grace Kelly and Fred Astaire.

*  Here Are the Census Entries of Iconic 1940s Celebrities on The Business Insider blog.  Elvis Presley, Albert Einstein, Charlie Chaplin, Al Capone, Grace Kelly, and Fred Astaire.

*   Who We Have Found in the 1940 Census on the FindMyPast blog.  Martin Luther King, Jr., James Dean, Tom Brokaw, Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, Walt Disney, Nancy Pelosi, Shirley Temple, the Fonda Family, Chuck Norris, Boris Karloff, Charles Boyer, Charles Chaplin, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, James Cagney, Samuel Goldwyn, and Tina Turner.

*  Celebrities in the 1940 Census by Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak on her Huffington Post blog.  Betty White, Neil Armstrong, Hugh Hefner, Nick and Rosemary Clooney, and Johnny Cash.

*  Just found: Wendell Willkie in 1940 Census on the FindMyPast Blogs.

*  Celebrities in the 1940 U.S. Census by Amanda on the Geni blog.  Shirley Temple, Judy Garland, Randolph Scott, Cary Grant, John Barrymore

*  Pickfair found in the 1940 Census by Amanda on the Geni blog.  Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin and Fred Astaire.

*  Tweeter @daveinwf found the Oswald family in Louisiana.

I'm sure that there are many more.  If you know of other articles or blog posts, please list them in Comments to this post.

I'm not too concerned with "who posted this one first" - I'll let them fight it out between themselves.

Last updated:  12 April 2012, 5 p.m.

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Follow-Up Friday - Reader's Comments Answered

The following reader comments and emails from the last two weeks raise issues or provide useful information:

1)  On Tuesday's Tip -'s 1940s-Era Collections are Free until 10 AprilAnonymous asked:

"Any idea how "later" in 2012 everything will be indexed? The problem with the enumeration system is that it assumes you know it - I'm eager to find my grandparents, but they moved around the town a lot so I have no idea what district they would've been in at that point in their lives."

My response:   There are three ongoing Indexing projects - at, and FamilySearch Indexing.  At this writing, Ancestry has two states completed (Delaware and Nevada), and MyHeritage has one county indexed (Bristol, Rhode Island).  FamilySearch has a number of states in work.  These projects are ongoing, and it looks to me that  they will be added piecemeal to the sites as they become available.  Note that the images, and indexes, are currently FREE on all of the sites.  My advice is to monitor the three sites, and to contribute to the Indexing process as often as possible.  The estimates that the Indexing would be completed late in 2012 was probably pessimistic - there may be an index from every state in less than three months, since three organizations are working on it.

If it's a small town you're searching, then you could browse through the several enumeration districts in hopes of finding them.

2)  On My 1940 U.S. Census Expectations, GGM Scott noted:

"...My guess is that the servers at Steve Morse's site will crash, maybe sooner than the actual census site. So I decided to have my list ahead of time.

"I completely agree with your 'expectations' - the only addition I would make is to set a time-table for how long it will take me to get ticked-off at those who haven't paid attention to all the helpful information that has been available for the longest kind of time! And, following that, how long it will take me to get over being ticked-off, and get on with it. I'm getting pretty good at getting past that less-than-charming-quality in my own personality, so will be willing to help others before too much time has passed. 

"I believe one of the things that will happen is the those who have only begun to research their families recently, and have been able to utilize the internet for nearly all of their findings, including 'primary sources' in many instances, are going to get a taste of what research was like prior to the internet. Are they ready for a line-by-line study of an entire County, for the misspelled name of their gr-grandmother on their dad's side, or the alternate name or nickname of the second-cousin of their mother?"

My response:  Excellent observations and predictions.  I don't think the Steve Morse site ever crashed, but it sure was popular!  Well-done to Steve, Joel and their volunteers for creating something that worked well and really helped the genealogy community.

I got ticked off too - it was very frustrating on Monday, 2 April.  I was very happy when Ancestry got my San Diego folks online on Monday night, and that MyHeritage got my Massachusetts folks online on Tuesday.  Kudos to them.

I monitor several online mailing lists, and the level of knowledge displayed on these lists demonstrated to me that many persons really had no clue how to find Enumeration Districts, where to or how to search the 1940 census.  The researchers that read blogs and society newsletters are a relatively small number - perhaps only 20% of the genealogy community. 

a)  Geolover noted:  "Randy, thanks for this account. I noticed that the source-citation pane does not have a place for an author.  My understanding is that two of your wishes that I share are not on a present agenda. There is no present plan to have a source citation for each event, nor the option for more than one citation for each event, nor a source citation option specifically for relationships."

b)  Sue Maxwell noted:  "This is really an issue that FamilySearch needs to deal with. They are trying to make it easy enough that MOST people will add a source. However, it will probably never be as detailed as us genealogists want it to be. The best solution I can suggest is to go to FEEDBACK on the site and voice your opinions. They DO listen to feedback and the more feedback saying the same similar thing, the more they listen. So feedback every chance you get."

My comments:  Thank you both for the information.  I encourage my readers to provide feedback on this issue to FamilySearch.

4)  I received an email concerning privacy issues in the 1940 US Census on 3 April, saying:

"I think that all of your tips about searching the 1940 census are great. I wouldn’t have thought to find the address of the people I’m looking up by using the voter registration directory. A lot of people are concerned about privacy because many of the people in the census are still alive. Do you agree that this could potentially be a privacy issue? I’m personally looking forward to when the data is searchable by name."

My response via email on 5 April was:

"I do not think that the 1940 US Census release constitutes a privacy issue.  There are no Social Security numbers, no mother's maiden names, no birth dates, etc.  Just address, name, sex, race, age, location, employment, income and other indicators, all of which is secondary information told to a person who wrote it down.  The enumerator didn't care if it was accurate or not - he was paid by the person listed.  Someone looking to steal an identity of a person listed in the 1940 census has a much better chance of doing it by stealing mail, or wallets, or credit card numbers.  Thieves are not smart enough to figure out a person's mother's maiden name from census records that list her married name.  

"Information on living persons has always been available, in print and online, in voter registers, vital records indexes, city directories, telephone books, business directories, court records, property records, etc.  Any one of us can buy a day or week or month on an online public records site (e.g., and find out details about any person that would aid them in stealing an identity.  The right to privacy in the Constitution is to prevent the government from seizing our papers and possessions without due process, not that we are anonymous or should not be listed in a government or business record.  My interpretation - I'm not a lawyer."

That's it for this week's Follow-Up Friday.  If you have comments or questions, please make them on the specific blog post, or email me at  

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver Using Steve Morse 1940 Census ED Finder

To me, Steve Morse, Joel Weintraub and their team of volunteers did the genealogical community a tremendous favor by creating the Unified 1940 Census ED Finder.  It works, it is fast, and it saves time for everyone trying to find their target families in the 1940 census. has incorporated the Unified 1940 Census ED Finder into their FREEly available (until the end of 2013) 1940 Census page -

The top of the 1940 Census on page looks like this (two screens below):

Just below the "Enumeration District" box in the screen above are two radio buttons for

*  "Already know the cross streets?  Narrow down the potential district quickly with this browsing method.  Powered by the One-Step work of Stephen Morse & Joel Weintraub"

*  "Already know the district from 1930?  Converts 1930 census district numbers to 1940 numbers.

Clicking either of these buttons opens a set of boxes to help the user find the Enumeration District number using the Steve Morse 1940 ED Finder process.

I clicked on the first radio button, and filled in the boxes one at a time:

After adding the state, county, residence street, two cross streets and the back street, two matching Enumeration Districts were listed:

clicking on one of those ED numbers brought up the first page of the 1940 census pages for that Enumeration District.

Joel emailed me this morning, saying:

"Ancestry has now (with our permission) included our data sets into their website.  One of our requirements was to not put the information solely behind their pay wall, and to remove the data sets when they start to use their own street information when they complete their full index."

WELL DONE, good and faithful servants of the genealogy community!!!

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copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Interesting Tweets for "1940 census" Today

Here are some of the most interesting tweets on Twitter from earlier this week with the keywords "1940 census" (contributors name/handle deleted):

*  1940 Census Release Reveals Family History of Tourist-Favorite Barn: From around the world, people are flocking ...