Monday, April 2, 2012

Nancy Drew and the case of the 1940 U.S. census

The detective work has become and the first results have already come in! The period between 1930-1940 saw a lot of deaths in my family and a lot of families moving around, which can make finding their enumeration districts difficult. Lucky for me, the Raynors have deep Freeport roots. They came in the 1650s and they never left, so I know exactly where to find them!

I neglected to put in my last post where to find the census - if you're an Ancestry member, they're uploading the census images as we speak. If you're not, you can go to, but be forewarned - EVERYBODY is using the site and pages are loading extremely slowly, if even at all. I searched for 3rd great-grandmother, Meta Tiedemann Ricklefs, where I last saw her, in Patchogue, Suffolk County, Long Island, New York. Her husband, John Ricklefs, had died in 1937, and I couldn't find her at first glance, so she's either in the next ED over or she has died by 1940 as well. Freeport is a fairly small place, and that's where the Raynors are entrenched, so that's where I went next. The good news is, once I FINALLY got to an ED, I found that they've been broken up into manageable chunks - you only have to go through about 24 pages, at least in the EDs I've checked so far. But Randy Seaver over at Genea-Musings gave some good advice here, suggesting how to find the ED if you don't already know, and that downloading all the ED file would be a better way to look over each page, which is what I did - it was taking too long for the images to appear on my screen, but they downloaded very quickly to my computer.

I already found my grandfather, Clifford Raynor, his father, Monroe Raynor, and HIS father, Joseph J. Raynor, living on South Main Street in Freeport - the handwriting isn't so great so it's a little difficult to read some of the info, and since these are ancestors I know pretty well, there aren't too many surprises so far, but I have already found mistakes - great-great grandpa J.J.'s daughter Eliza is listed as his wife, and his daughter-in-law, Alice, is listed as a daughter and his *granddaughter* is listed as a daughter. There's supposed to be an "x" next to the name of the person who provided the information, but I haven't seen one so far. Still, I'm excited to see what else I find, but I know now that I'm going to have to perfect the art of patience over the next few weeks. Maybe I should start meditating...

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