Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Where Were My Ancestors During the 1940 Census!

by Sherry Stocking Kline
02 April 2011

It’s time for more Saturday Night Genealogy Fun from Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings: Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – the 1940 US Census. “   I was excited to learn when the census was going to be released, and was just wondering about that this week! And since it is after midnight, only 365 days to wait! 

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1)  Know that the 1940 United States Census will be released for public viewing on the National Archives website on Monday, 2 April 2012 (366 days from today!).  My understanding is that, when it is first released, that there will be no indexes available – we will have to search them the “old way” – with known addresses, finding enumeration districts from maps and websites, and then go page-by-page to find our folks.  Eventually, there will be indexes available, but we don’t know how long after the release that will be.

2)  Which of your ancestral family members will be in the 1940 census?  Consider not just your ancestors, but also their siblings. 

3)  Where did your ancestral family members live in 1940 on Census Day?  Have you found all of the addresses in city directories or telephone books?  Please list the ones you know the addresses of, and the ones you need to find addresses for.

4)  Tell us about it in a blog post of your own, a comment to this blog post, or on a Facebook note or comment.

Note:  This idea came to me on Friday night while participating in the Geneabloggers Radio chat – we had a discussion of the 1940 census release.

1).  Eeek, no index?  I guess I’m getting spoiled!  Oh well, I can still search at midnight in my sweats!

2).  By 1940, my mom and dad had been married for nine years, had two sons, (my brothers) and were living on the farm (rural route, Mayfield, Kansas) where I grew up.

 By 1940, my dad’s father, Elmer Stocking,  had passed away two years earlier, and (I think) maybe my grandmother, Maud McGinnis Stocking, had moved from our town to Cedarvale, Kansas, to be near one of my uncles, Frank Stocking.  Grandma Stocking lived in Cedarvale until she passed away on February 28, 1962.

I can still drive to my grandma’s home in that tiny Kansas Flint Hills town, but I don’t know what her address was, and don’t even know if the little town had addresses.   I think getting addresses/locations documented is something I need to “fix”, not just on my grandma’s home, but on all our homes.  Many of my ancestors and close family members lived on farms, and that was well before the country got 9-1-1 addresses, so I will probably need to get farm legals or type in good directions.  GPS coordinates would be a good idea when I can go back to the exact spot and add those in.

By 1940, my great-grandfather, Roderick Remine Stocking, had lost his third son, thirty-seven-year old Roderick Porter, to an accidental electrocution, and he moved into Mayfield with his daughter-in-law, Myrtle Nyberg Stocking and her children.

On my mom’s side, her father and mother were still living, and lived on a farm just two miles straight east of Milan, Kansas on what is now known by locals as “the Old Highway” and is now  known as 20th Street South according to the 9-1-1 addressing.

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