Ancestry.com released the 1940 census for Michigan tonight, so of course, I had to start searching! First off I wanted to see where my Uncle George was living. I had previously found his parents and siblings, so he was next on my list. Here’s the record I found:
Uncle George was in the 28 Army Air Corps and was an Airplane Mechanic. He lived in the Third Air Corps Squadron Barracks at Selfridge Field1.
George with his sister, Millie
1Year: 1940; Census Place: Harrison,Macomb,Michigan; Roll: T627_1783; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 50-26. Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1940. T627, 4,643 rolls
Ancestry.com added new indexes today! Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Tennessee, Colorado and Vermont are all searchable, along with New York, Nevada, District of Columbia, Delaware and Maine that have been searchable for a while now. I am very excited about Tennessee, since that is where most of my ancestors on my daddy’s side of the family come from. My Mansfield, Call, Brasfield, etc. lines all come from around Crockett County. Here is my first find for today!
This is the census records for my great-great-grandparents, Joe Allan and Maud May “Maudie” Griggs Mansfield. Joe was born on 18 Dec 1880 in Crockett County, Tennessee to James and Mary Ann Brasfield Mansfield. Maudie was born on 22 Jan 1884 in Crockett County to William Riley and Margaret “Maggie” Johnson Griggs. On 26 Dec 1899,Joe and Maudie married in Crockett County. Joe died in 1948 and Maud lived to be 95 years old, passing in 1979.
They had 8 children:
Annie Lou (Hatch) 1901-1984
Marvin Mansfield 1904-1979
William Lesley 1905-1985 (my great-grandfather)
Ola Mai 1912-1994
By the time the 1940 census came along, Rebecca and Ola Mai were the only two daughters still living at home. Ola Mai was divorced and had come back to her parents home with a daughter Evelyn Rodgers (her father was Homer Rodgers). She would go on to marry in 1942 to Osca Hensley.
Rebecca would go on to marry Robert Peace (1916-1947) and have two children with him. I’ll share the story of how Robert, along with Annie Lou’s son, died later.
Have you checked out the 1940 Census Project Blog? If you haven’t you need to head on over there! Not only do they have some amazing contests, but they also have some very interesting articles about the life and times during the 1940s. While your there add them to your RSS Feed, so you’ll always be up-to-date and you can share some of the interesting stories there with all your friends on Facebook, twitter, and google+! Comments are always welcomed, too!
Have you indexed your first batch of the 1940 census yet? I did and let me tell you, the images are very easy to read and index!
The 1940 census was released on April 2nd and shortly after you could download your first batch on the Family Search Indexing Software.
Click to learn more about The 1940 Census Project
If you haven’t already signed up on the Games and Prizes Page at the 1940 Census Project website, you should head on over there and sign up! You can be entered to win an Amazon Kindle Fire and all you have to do is download and complete one batch of the 1940 census by Sunday, April 8 11:59 p.m. MST.
Sounds simple, right? That’s cause it is!! Just a few minutes of your time could get you a Kindle Fire.
Well the census has been out for a day and if any of you tried to get on yesterday, you probably noticed it was a little (okay a lot) backed up. I gave up yesterday on the 1940 census and today without any problems and just 12 pages of searching, I found my great-grandparents, George and Elsie Mielke, my grandmother Lucille, and 3 great-aunts, Mildred, Marion and Audrey. This will probably be the easiest of my searches on the 1940s census, because the family lived in the same house for many years. Click here to go to the Michigan Ed 84-1185.
George was 62 years old, owned his own home at 6355 Clifton Street, it was worth $4000 and he was unemployed. Elsie was 49, born in Newfoundland and was a Naturalized Citizen.
Mildred “Millie” was 22 and was the only person in the family working. According to question 21 “If not, was he at work or associated to public emergency work (WPA, NYA, CCC, etc) during the week of March 24-30?” Millie answered yes to this question. She was working as a Research Clerk for Youth Vocational Services. In 1939, she worked 40 weeks of the year. Marion was 17, Lucille, was 16 and Audrey was 13.
This will be the last census that George and Mildred will be in. George died in 1943 and Millie died in 1941.
I’ve included photo’s of everyone I have mentioned today! I did not have a photo taken of Audrey during this time period, so I used a photo from the late 1940s.
My grandfather Bernard McKnight was born on 12 Aug 1924 and died on 13 Sep 1977. Other than a few random facts I know little about my Grandpa Bernie. He served in World War II enlisting 28 Apr 1943 and on 24 Jan 1946 he was released from military duty. In 1947, he was living on Cherry Lane in Pontiac, Michigan with Henry and Beatrice McKnight. In 1949 he and Bernice Mansfield McKnight had the first of their 3 sons, Ronald. In April of 1950 came Raymond Alton (my daddy) and in 1953, Rickey James came along. Sometime after my Uncle Rick was born, Bernice left Bernard and their boys and moved out-of-state.
When we visited Michigan in 2010, we visited Bernie’s grave at Perry Mt. Park Cemetery in Pontiac, Michigan. This is the information we received from the cemetery office.
Bernard McKnight’s cemetery record
And a map of the cemetery:
Perry Mt. Park Cemetery Pontiac, Michigan. Bernard is buried in the veteran’s section.
I’m hoping when the 1940 census comes out I can find out more information about Bernie and the rest of the McKnight family. If you would like to know more about transcribing the 1940 census please go to this link 1940 Census Volunteer.
Ancestry.com. U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: Beneficiary Identification Records Locator Subsystem (BIRLS) Death File. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
With just 14 days until the 1940 Census will be available, we need your help to create an index. When the Census is released searching for your ancestors is going to take some work. With the help of volunteers, like you and me, there will be an index created, so that finding your ancestors will be easier!
Beginning Monday, March 19th, there will be a contest that anyone can enter at main 1940 Census Blog. The contest will require you to download the Family Search Indexing software and complete a practice simulation of what the 1940 Census will look like. That’s all you have to do! One entrant will be chosen at random to win a $100 Visa gift card and two entrants will be chosen to win $50 Visa gift cards. After you complete this make sure you go to the Games and Prizes section of the 1940 census site to enter your name for the drawing!
If you’ve already completed the simulation 1940 census in the last 60 days you qualify to enter this contest!
I don’t know about you but just having the index of the 1940 Census will be the best gift! But hey a free gift card doesn’t hurt either!! Also, while your there check out the entire 1940 Census site, they have lots of interesting information about the 1940s and the Census!
Please sign up for Family Search Indexing, besides the upcoming 1940 Census, there are many other valuable records from across the world that need to be indexed. With your help more people will find their ancestors! If your interested in entering the contest click here!
Since I’m a member of the 1940 ambassador program, I have to let you guys know that, “As part of the1940census.com ambassador program this blog post enters me into a drawing for Amazon Kindle Fire.”
With 18 days until the 1940 census is released, I began to think of the people I want to search for.
My grandmother, Lucille Mielke, should be an easy find. In 1940, she would have been 16 years old and living with her parents and siblings on Clifton Street in Detroit, Michigan. They lived in the same house since before the 1930 census.
Next will be my grandfather, Oscar Rowan Lindsay. I have looked for him and his mother, Edith Basham Lindsay, in the 1930 census but have been unsuccessful in locating them. My grandfather would have been 22 and living in Detroit. They immigrated to America from Canada in 1923.
Oscar Rowan Lindsay circa 1935
I’m also hoping to find my grandfather Bernard McKnight. He is another one of those ancestors that seems to have emerged from thin air. There is not much information on him. I know that he was born in 1924 and served in World War II, in 1945 he was released from military duty (according to U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010 World War II Records). In 1947, he was living on Cherry Lane in Pontiac, Michigan.
Bernard McKnight taken about 1953
I’m sure there are many more relatives I will be looking for, but my grandparents (and g-grandparents) will be some good finds. Who will you be looking for in the 1940 U.S. Census? If you want to volunteer to transcribe these records please join Family Search Indexing.
As we get closer to the United States releasing the 1940s census, I want to look at some of the most memorable newsworthy events of 1940.
January 8 – WWII: Food rationing begins in Great Britain.
February 7 – RKO release Walt Disney’s second full-length animated film, Pinocchio.
March 2 – Cartoon character Elmer Fudd makes his debut in the animated short, Elmer’s Candid Camera.
April 7 – Booker T. Washington becomes the first African-American to be depicted on a United States postage stamp.
May 15 – The very first McDonald’s restaurant opens in San Bernardino, California.
June 4 - Winston Churchill tells the British House of Commons, “We shall not flag or fail. We shall fight on the beaches… on the landing grounds… in the fields and the streets…. We shall never surrender.”
July 27 – Bugs Bunny makes his debut in the Oscar-nominated cartoon short, A Wild Hare.
August 4 – Charles Lindbergh speaks to an isolationist rally at Soldier Field in Chicago.
September 7 - Nazi Germany begins to bomb London (the first of 57 consecutive nights of strategic bombing). This was also known as the “Blitz”
October 16 – The draft registration of approximately 16 million men begins in the U. S.
November 5 – U.S. 1940 Presidential Election. Democratic incumbent Franklin D. Roosevelt defeats Republican Wendell Willkie to become the United States’ only third-term president.
December 30 – California’s first modern freeway is opened for traffic in Pasadena, California, as the Arroyo Seco Parkway.