"Let me see generation times, will we hear children singing rhymes? Sweet memories gone by..."

05 August 2012

1940 Census, part 2

A miner's life is like a sailor on board a ship to cross the waves
Every day his life's in danger, many ventures being brave
Watch the rocks, they're falling daily, careless miners always fail
Keep your hand upon your wages and your eye upon the scale
-- "A Miner's Life" (Traditional)

In my first blog post back in May, I wrote about trying to find ancestors in the newly-released 1940 U.S. Census.  At the time, the only relatives I'd found were those whose addresses I already knew.  Four months later, Ancestry.com has just completed its index of every single state, with 134 million names.  So with this new search tool, I've found a few more...

I quickly found my great-great-grandparents John and Louise Gallo, living at 570 Roosevelt Street in Trenton, New Jersey.  At the age of 75, John was still working, listed simply as a "laborer" - ten years prior in 1930, his occupation was "farm laborer". 

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Next on the list was Clarence Campen, whom I discovered staying at the veterans' hospital at Perry Point in Cecil County, Maryland.  An interesting tidbit on this record:  instead of giving a person's 1935 residence, the hospital provided the patient's date of admission.  For Clarence, he was admitted on June 28, 1933.

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With a bit of hunting, I was able to find my great-great-grandmother Lucy Jane Dotson.  She was living with her daughter Sophronia's family in Letcher County, Kentucky.

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Which now brings me to the most difficult person to find - Pop Pop!  The prior year, in 1939, Pop Pop's father had died from his injuries after being struck by a car.  My great-grandmother Savannah was left with five children to raise on her own.  From what I've found, it looks like the family was split up.  First I found Pop Pop's older sister, Aunt Fay, with husband Willie Freeman, their daughter Sheila, and Aunt Jackie, living in Pike County, Kentucky.

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Next I found Pop Pop's brothers Otis and Walter Jr. living with Savannah's brother Arthur, also in Pike County, Kentucky.  Like Willie Freeman, Uncle Otis and Arthur were working as coal miners.

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Alas, Pop Pop, his mother Savannah, and Savannah's then-future husband, Beecher Ramey, are all still playing hide-and-seek.  I'm hoping their names are just indexed some weird way - I've seen many creative renderings of Datson, Dotsin, etc.  At least I now have Pike County to focus on, fingers crossed!

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