Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tuesday's Tip ~ Getting Ready for the 1940 Census

Because there won't initially be an every-name index to find ancestors in the 1940 U.S. Census when it is released in April 2012, it helps to know the Enumeration District (E.D.) of the ancestor I'm looking for. There are a couple of ways to find the 1940 Enumeration Districts of the ancestors I hope to find once the 1940 Census is released in April 2012. Thank you to Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings for his July 18 post about the availability of 1940 Census Enumeration District Maps at NARA's website. Another option is to go to Steve Morse's 1940 Census Quiz which I believe I first read about in Dick Eastman's newsletter in late June.

In 1940, my father was living at 22 Reservoir Avenue, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, with his mother, Elizabeth (Adsit) (Pyle) Rust and step-father, Edgar C. Rust. This is based on the fact that this address shows up for Edgar C. Rust in the 1930 U.S. Census, and on his WWII Draft card.

I started at the 1940 Census Quiz, looking for what Enumeration District this neighborhood was in. I found this E.D. by using the One-Step Large City E.D. Finder Tool. Entering "Massachusetts", the city of "Newton", and the street name "Reservoir Av.", up popped the enumeration district of 9-454.

I then went to the Archival Research Catalog of the National Archives and entered as search terms: "1940 census maps Newton Massachusetts". The result with the digital icon at the left brings up maps in thumbnail view. It is the last one that shows the southeastern section of Newton, which is where Chestnut Hill is located. As I live in Massachusetts and am familiar with this neighborhood, it wasn't too difficult to pick out the right map from the thumbnails.

Close-up of 1940 Enumeration District map for Newton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts
The red arrow in the closeup above points to Reservoir Avenue, and the Enumeration District is right there: 9-454.

I am not exactly sure where my paternal grandfather, Charles McAlpin Pyle, was in 1940. He did not marry his third wife until 1941, and I know they were in Ellicott City, Maryland in 1942, but finding him in 1940 may be a challenge until an every-name index is created.

The only one of my father's grandparents who was still living in 1940 was his maternal grandmother, Mary B. (Ashby) Adsit. I'm not sure if she was still living in Chicago, where she had spent her married life, or if she had moved to Massachusetts. Again, an every-name index will be helpful in finding her.

My mother, her sisters, and her parents, Lowell T. Copeland and Helen (Hunter) Copeland, were living in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, area in 1940. My mother always speaks of her childhood home in Allison Park, Pennsylvania, and I have various materials that indicate their address was on Mt. Royal Blvd., so I looked up that address at Steve Morse's site, where I indicated that this was a rural area or small urban community. I'm then directed to use the One Step E.D. Definition Tool, where I entered "Pennsylvania" as the state, "Allegheny" as the county, and searched on "Allison Park". This gave me three choices of Enumeration District descriptions which are all in Hampton Township: 2-209, 2-210, and 2-211.

When I look for the map, searching on "1940 census maps Hampton Allegheny Pennsylvania" I find one map, of which I show a portion below. You can see the three E.D.'s listed.

Close-up of 1940 E.D. map of Allison Park, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania
The ovals show an indication of where Mt. Royal Blvd. is located and the E.D. of 2-210, which seems to include all of Mt. Royal Blvd.

However, in attempting to review and organize my genealogy files recently, I came across a document that reminded me that the family moved from 836 North Highland Avenue in Pittsburgh to Allison Park in late 1940, after the census was taken. So I need to find an Enumeration District in Pittsburgh.

Using Steve Morse's site (with a little help from Google Maps to determine exactly where 836 North Highland Avenue is, i.e. the cross streets of Jackson Street and Farragut Street), I find that the 1940 E.D. is 69-260. Searching on the terms "1940 census maps Pittsburgh Pennsylvania" at the National Archives map site gave over 100 maps. After some exploration with an overview map, I found a map of a section of the city with E.D. 260, of which I show just a part below.

Close-up of 1940 E.D. map of a portion of Pittsburgh, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania
You can see where I noted Enumeration District 260, and the arrow points to where I think 836 North Highland Avenue is, based on entering the address at Google Maps.

The only one of my mother's grandparents who was still living in 1940 was her maternal grandmother, Marguerite (Lysle) Hunter, who was likely living with her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughters at 836 North Highland Avenue, in Pittsburgh, so I'll first look the family up at that address and see if grandmother Marguerite is living there before searching for her on her "farm" north of Pittsburgh.

Tuesday's Tip is a daily blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers, the genealogy community's resource for blogging. It is used by many genealogy bloggers to help them tell stories of their ancestors.

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