Friday, March 30, 2012

Getting Ready for 1940 Census

Enumeration District part of Ward 3 Little Rock Arkansas, 1940

I shall be looking for my parents in the 1940 census this Monday. They will not have yet met, so I will be looking for them in two separate households in two separate cities , in two separate counties. Will I find them? I sure hope so and thankfully I think I have a jump start, because I know where to look, thanks to the Steve Morse ED Finder.

My Mother's Address in 1940
In 1940, my mother lived at 1104 N. State Street, in Little Rock Arkansas, which is in Pulaski County. (Today that area encompasses most of the campus of Philander Smith College. She lived behind Wesley Chapel Methodist Church.)

On Monday morning, I will be online at 9 am looking for her in the census. Hopefully it will not take long for me to find her. The closest intersection where she lived was where 11th and State streets intersect. Thankfully I used the database from the Steve Morse ED finder for 1940 and am ready to go!

I put in my mom's address where I know she lived in 1940 on the ED Finder.

Entry Form from the ED Finder Database

What a pleasant surprise to find the exact area where my mother lived! I also realized that the document that appeared (see the top image above) contained information also on the enumeration district of both 1930 and 1940.

Heading of Enumeration District Finder

My Dad's 1940 location

So with my mom's enumeration district being easy find---will finding my father in the 1940 census be just as easy? I hope so!

In 1920 he lived at 2102 No. 12th Street in Ft. Smith Arkansas. Ft. Smith is an unusual city with many streets running diagonally and some streets do not always appear in a numerical sequence. However, having grown up there, I am familiar with many of the streets and neighborhoods of that small city, and I think that I do have the right enumeration district for the house where the family lived.

I used Steve Morse's ED Finder again and three possibilities came up and the entry on the top seemed to match the area closely as I know it to be.

Looking at the image I also found an image from the ED directory as well.

Enumeration District reflecting part of Ward 1 Upper Township, Ft. Smith Arkansas 1940
Hopefully what I have been told will be accurately reflected in the records.

Will I find relatives in a rural community?
My dad's mother came from a very large community in southwest Arkansas. Before marrying my grandfather and moving to Ft. Smith which was a fairly large town, she lived in Sevier County Arkansas. Many of her siblings had still lived there. They were adults, had married and were raising their own families. Over the years, most of them would eventually leave the small town of Horatio Arkansas. And like many African American families, they would be a part of the Great Migration--where thousands of families would leave to deep south to places north and west.  In my grandmother's case, some of her siblings moved to Michigan, and others moved west to Oklahoma, then later Arizona, Nevada and California.  

I am anxious to see what 1940 will reflect. I have many of the her siblings and their families in the 1930 census. Will all of them still be there in 1940, or will the community have begun to change? I don't have a real idea of when the cousins began to leave Arkansas, and move away. Was it the 1940s or before?  Or did some of it come later?  I look forward therefore to looking to studying the county, to see where this large family in this rural community lived at that time.

Well, I worked my way through the ED Finder and was surprise to find an entry for the rural communities as well. My family lived near Horatio Arkansas, but the actual township was Clear Creek. Thankfully I found the ED number also for the tiny hamlet where they lived!

Clear Creek Township Reflected in the Enumeration Directory for 1940

So, I feel ready for the 1940 census and am so eager to log on at 9 am this coming Monday! 

1940----here I come!!!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Reflections from The Baltimore AAHGS Genealogy Expo 2012

Saturday March 24, was an enjoyable day at the Baltimore Agnes K. Callum Chapter of AAHGS annual Genealogy Expo.

Members of this genealogy organization had a chance to showcase their genealogical projects and others were able to bring their questions to the event and get personal assistance with their own brick wall problems.

I decided this year to present a small session on African American Genealogy Blogs, with a power point presentation.

Image from my Power Point Presentation on African American Genealogy Blogs

Mr. Erwin Polk of  Delaware had a wonderful Buffalo Soldier display. His ancestor was a Buffalo Soldier and he had both records as well as books on display where his ancestors were mentioned.

Mr. Polk shared several publications reflecting some of his own family history.

Mr. Polk's Display

On item caught my attention and I have heard him speak of it before. This was a book about the history of Gouldtown New Jersey and historically black township.  A book was written about this historic town, in 1913, and although there were not many photos of the town known to exist, one of his ancestors was an artist, and she drew from her own memory some images of the town that were included in the book itself. She was a mere 16 years old at the time.

Gouldtown, A book on an historically black New Jersey Town

Image from page 11 of the book Gouldtown. The sketches were made by Mr. Polk's ancestor.

Chapter Vice President Jerry Hynson set up his laptops to share a number of genealogy programs and websites with members. With both laptops going he was able to demonstrate programs and sites to more than one person.

Jerry Hynson with his laptops on display

Some members had prepared some of their family charts to put on display.

One of the family trees on display

As  usual, Noreen Goodson who has remarkable experience working with beginners, ended up teaching a small "Getting Started" session to genealogy novices. She held their attention and got several people inspired to really get started in depth with exploring their family history.

Noreen Goodson, speaking to a class of beginning resarchers

The chapter itself had an impressive display featuring several panels reflecting members their projects and general information about the organization itself.

BAAHGS Chapter Display

BAAHGS member, Dr. Donna Hollie shared some information about her own family history, in an interesting display that also included the recent discovery of her ancestors who were owners of a small telephone company in Midland Virginia. This was possibly the only black owned telephone company of the time, and one of the first in history.

Dr. Donna Tyler Hollie speaking about her own research.

Stock certificate reflecting information on the Elk Run Telephone Company

She also had on display a remarkable photo of her ancestors who had been born as slaves. Whenever she shows this photo I am always captivated by it.  The hands of her ancestors say as much as their eyes.

Ancestors of Dr. Donna Tyler Hollie

One member displayed her own family history by showing the data reflected in her family tree software program.  Several visitors became fascinated by her data and how she discussed her methods of sharing her information with family.

Barnes Family History Data Reflected in Family Tree software

Most importantly the day was a good day as new friendships were formed, new people left inspired to explore their own family history  more in depth. Some received personal advice and others found new ways to document their history through blogging.

The time was well spent, and the day was a very good day! I always enjoy the expos and look forward to one in the future again!