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


Charlie Purvis said...

Another good source for an address is your MALE ancestors WWII Draft Card available on
I found one of my Uncle's that had moved out of state and I wasn't aware of his move.

Charlie Purvis

Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

Found my Grandparents in 1940 census in hometown, as part of Genealogy Egg Hunt on Saturday night - Thanks, Randy! ;-)

GeneJ said...

OooO. I took that bait too, and located my aunt, Helen (Burgoon) (von Clausburg) Preston (1899-1988).

Sadly, I was able to locate Helen and Russell because he died only nine days after the census was taken.

With a little luck, I may find her second husband, John. :-( If I find him, it will be because his wife and child died not long after that census. --GJ

Mel said...

I got around to the challenge this morning, but in this case, was not successful:

GeneJ said...

Oh, and I nibbled today as well. This one turned into a real challenge. Bit of gumshoe and a lot of indirect and circumstantial genealogist thinking went into this one.
TY for nudging me on, Randy.