Saturday, May 24, 2014

Census Search Tip

I was searching for Elizabeth Siebert on the 1940 census just now and could not find her. I knew she was still alive and living in the Bronx.  Why didn't she come up?

We are told to always search the pages before and after our family to see if other family members are nearby. Using this search technique I then searched for Elizabeth's daughter and son-in-law, Regina and Nicholas Eberhard.  I found them on page one of six of the Morris Street, Bronx section of the census.  The listing showed Nicholas as head with Regina, his wife, and their three children.  No Elizabeth.  I scrolled through the next page of names, nothing. The next page was blank. On page five I found four names. The top one was Elizabeth Siebert, indexed as "Silbert."  It listed Elizabeth as "mother-in-law." 

We have downloaded all the blank census forms that can be found on Elizabeth had a notation on Column 3 that stated, "cont. 3." I pulled out the blank form for 1940 and found that Column 3 asks "Number of Household in order of visitation." Going back to page one, I then noticed that Nicholas and Regina were indeed Household number three. 

The other three folks on this last page were Household 30, which had been missed altogether.  Why Elizabeth wasn't counted in the first round and ended up on a census sheet between two blank ones, I will probably never know. I do know that if this form had many more pages, I probably would not have taken the time to search.

Maybe Elizabeth really does want her story to be told. Thanks for guiding my hand.  

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