In this lovely photo above, Bernard & Mary (Mahoney) Doran are posing for the camera on Hamilton Street, along with their eldest daughter Margaret, daughter Elizabeth, and son Joseph. They all look so happy, that I always smile when I look at this picture. Based on the apparent ages of their children, this picture was taken in the early 1940s, possibly on Easter Sunday since the bonnets look very festive.
If you’re getting ready for the 1940 Federal Census release, like I am, it’s important to know the address and enumeration district your family lived in, to help facilitate the search. Ancestry.com will be have the records online tomorrow, but the index will not be available at first. They do plan on offering the 1940 Census free through 2013, and at some point there will be a detailed index searchable by street address. Using the Harrison Directory from Hudson County available on their website, my Doran family was living on Hamilton Street in 1940 (see below). You can also usually find city and town directories at public libraries and local historical societies.
But during the 1930 Federal Census the Doran family was living at 310 Warren Street, Harrison, NJ. They were listed under the spelling “Duran” and the enumeration district was listed as 9-247. This is where some detective work comes in handy. If you know any other family or neighbors that may have lived on the same street as your loved ones in 1940, go back to the 1930 Federal Census and look them up. I knew the Yaeger family also lived on Hamilton Street, and I found them in the 1930 Federal Census at 536 Hamilton Street, in enumeration district 9-252. Now I know where to look for my Doran clan in the 1940 Census, plus I have the exact address for my Doran family if I want to wait until the street index is ready.
Here are some other spots to search the 1940 Federal Census records: Familysearch.org (the genealogy organization run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints), Archives.com (the National Archives have partnered with this family history website), and one more site that may be helpful for advice is the USGenWeb Project.
At 9 a.m. ET tomorrow, April 2, the federal government will release these digital records. The 1940 Federal Census will also list where the person lived in 1935, a double bonus for tracking down your roots. From the Familysearch.org website here’s a quote as to what to look for:
The 1940 census included several standard questions, such as: name, age, gender, race, education, and place of birth. But the census also introduced some new questions. One example is that the enumerator was instructed to mark (with a circled x) who in the household responded to the census questions. Other questions included whether the person worked for the CCC, WPA, or NYA the week of March 24-30, 1940, and the income for the 12 months ending December 31, 1939.
|Street Address:||525 Hamilton H|
|Residence Place:||Harrison; Kearny; East Newark; Arlington; North Arlington, New Jersey|
|Publication Title:||Harrison, New Jersey, City Directory, 1940|