Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Stories from the Census ~ Dad (Again!) in 1950

 Last week, I shared my dad's story from the 1950 census.

A couple of days later, I learned that has made their 1950 US Census index available for all states and territories, due to confidence in their proprietary artificial intelligence technology that created a separate index than what NARA has (both created by using OCR on handwriting but using their own technology). You do have to set up a free account, but that provides you with access to not only the 1950 US Census, but the 1940 US Census and the 1880 US Census among other free indexes.

You can hear Ancestry's Crista Cowen excitedly explain what Ancestry has done in a YouTube video from last Wednesday.

So to check out this newly-available index, I entered Dad's name into the search boxes. He appeared at the top of the results page... twice! Notice the differences in the column "Home in 1950."

The first result is the one I shared last week. Dad was living at 156 Thornton Road in Brookline, Norfolk County, Massachusetts.

The second result (Jeannette's name was spelled incorrectly in both indexes), shows that he lived at 156 Thornton Road, Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts.

1950 U.S. census, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, Brookline, ED 15-1153, sheet 73, lines 7-8, household 97 (Charles M. Pyle & wife); U.S. National Archives, 1950 Census; (

The information is essentially the same: Charles M. Pyle, Jr. was 25 years old, born in New York and worked 40 hours in the prior week as a Bank Clerk in a Bank.

And how cool is this - he also was asked the additional sample questions in this enumeration as well!

In the Norfolk County enumeration, it was reported that he had only one year of college, but here, it is reported that he completed four years of college (C-4 near the middle of the above image). He worked 17 weeks "last year" (i.e. in 1949) and earned $680 (slight difference) and also made $6,000 in additional income "from interest, dividends, veteran's allowances, pensions, rents, or other income." (No difference.)

I haven't done a complete analysis of these two enumeration districts, but a quick look tells me that some residents of Thornton Road (the higher numbered addresses) were enumerated twice in 1950. I would venture a guess that because this new housing development was on the border of Brookline and Boston, the census enumerators didn't know where the city/town line was! 

A quick timeline shows:

April 8 - Norfolk County enumerator, A. Dedekam, visited and found no one home.
April 11 - Norfolk County enumerator, A. Dedekam, visited and collected information.
April 25 - Suffolk County enumerator, Clifford L. Sennott, visited and found no one home.
May 6 - Suffolk County enumerator, Clifford L. Sennott, visited and collected information.

Well, after having his 1940 census enumeration be completely mangled (see Error in 1940 Census ~ No Charles Pyle) and indexed as Ryle, Chaeles McAlpin in the 1930 census (see When at first you don't succeed, try, try again), I find it amusing that he was indexed twice in 1950.

No comments:

Post a Comment