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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Next post at FTF is up

My next post at Family Tree Firsts is up.  It is all about the 1940 US Census... in case you haven't heard enough already.

When the 1940 US Census was finally released I nearly died from anticipation.  To say I was  giddy would put it mildly.  However, I had already absolved myself to the fact that it would be weeks, if not months, before I would be able to carve out the time to really go through an un-indexed image file.  Yes, there is an indexing project going on, but unfortunately I am unable to participate in it.  Too much is going on right now for me to take the time that I feel I should dedicate to the process.

If you can't tell I have a special kind of drive in me. Long ago I would willy-nilly volunteer to do many different tasks and kill myself trying to make them all a success. Until I was in my early 30's; then I realized that I needed to learn to say no, and to choose what tasks/projects I can take on and finish with pride. This project fell in the middle of an already booked schedule, which is why I signed up to help promote the indexing. At least I could spread the word

However, I digress... back to the census.  I was over the moon when I learned Indiana was up on day one.  The towns that I was going to look through were small, and I already had a good idea of where to look and in what Enumeration District.  Dad was happy to talk about all the people I found, who the neighbors where, and the area in general.  Every time I find a new piece of information to add to the family tree puzzle he has always been happy to give me background information.  Sometimes it will even spark memories, which are always lively and entertaining. 

After I spoke with a couple other family members about locating other relatives on the 1940 US Census, and idea came to me.  This would be a fantastic thing to pull up and my mother's family reunion next September.  I can just image going page by page thought the home towns with them discovering everyone on the pages.  What stories could that lead to?  Imagine the possibilities!

Currently I am waiting for my mom's cousin to write me back with the address of where their parents lived in Wayne, Michigan.  My mother's father and two of his brothers moved there in the late 1930's and all settled within two blocks of each other.  It would be fascinating to see them, their kids, and learn what the Census can tell me.  Then I will tackle my husband's side of the family who will range across the country from Washington State to New York and down to Missouri.

* Image from the Library of Congress: Hand punching machine, Census

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