Wednesday, August 3, 2011

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 husband's father, Joseph Handler, and his family were living at either 553 or 557 Rhodes Avenue in Akron, Ohio. (553 was the address in the 1930 U.S. Census, and 557 was the address I found on Joseph Handler's 1947 death certificate.) To find the E.D., 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 "Ohio", the city of "Akron", and the street names "Rhodes Av" and cross street "Bishop" (I got a little help from Google Maps to find the cross street), up popped the Enumeration District of 89-70. I can click on "View" under the microfilm number T1224 to see a verbal description of the E.D. where I see that this neighborhood is in Ward 3, Tract F8, Block 15.

I then went to the Archival Research Catalog of the National Archives and entered as search terms: "1940 census maps Akron Ohio". The result with the digital icon at the left brings up maps in thumbnail view. There are only eight maps for Akron, and they do not appear to include the entire city. As I looked through each of these images, I looked for Tract F8, but couldn't find it. (Image 4 has F1, F2, F4, F5, and F6.) When I searched for the county of Summit, Ohio, I did find a county map, and Akron, in general, is in the center of it.

Close-up of 1940 Enumeration District map for Summit County, Ohio
I have marked where I guess that Tract F8 is with a little help from Google Maps. I hope that ARC will update these maps and provide more-detailed maps of the southern half of Akron.

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In 1940, my mother-in-law was living in Woodbine, New Jersey with her parents, Morris and Rose (Levitt) Goldstein and her brother. I looked up Woodbine at Steve Morse's site, where I indicated that this was a rural area or small urban community. I was then directed to use the One Step E.D. Definition Tool, where I entered "New Jersey" as the state, "Cape May" as the county, and searched on "Woodbine". Four results appear, and the one with the title "Woodbine Borough" is what I was looking for, with an E.D. of 5-48. (Right below is E.D. 5-49: Woodbine Borough, State Colony for Feeble-Minded Males.)

When I looked for the map, searching on "1940 census maps Cape May New Jersey" the results were for the whole county.  I found that the second-to-last choice is the map I was looking for.

Close-up of 1940 Enumeration District map for part of Dennis Township, Cape May County, New Jersey
And right in the middle of Dennis Township, you can see E.D. 5-48.

Close-up of 1940 Enumeration District map for Cape May County, New Jersey, showing Woodbine Borough
If you look closely (yes, it's rather faint), you can see "WOODBINE" noted in the middle, just above the printed 5-48.

The only one of my husband's great grandparents (that I know of) who were living in the U.S. in 1940 was his mother's mother's mother, Gussie (Segal) Levitt, who I expect to find across the street from the Goldsteins on Jackson Avenue in Woodbine.

I'm looking forward to the coming of the 1940 U.S. Federal Census to see what information it will provide about these mostly first-generation and second-generation immigrants.

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