Sunday, April 29, 2012

April 1940 Census Review

During the first week of the launch of the 1940 census this month I located all 4 of my grandparents (in Acampo and San Leandro, California) and 7 out of 8 great-grandparents (living with or next door to my grandparents, also in Sacramento) plus bonus great-aunts, uncles & cousins removed a few times. I'm not even bothering to try to find my great-grandfather somewhere in Los Angeles County until the California index is done since his address and city are unknown to try and narrow things down. That way lies madness! 

As a 5th generation native born Californian I see it as my duty to help index the state as much as possible even though I haven't lived there for 14 years. I've been surprised to see how similar the people of 1940 are to us today living through the Great Recession. There are so many twenty and thirtysomething single and married children, both daughters and sons, living at home with their parents. Often there are several adult children, sometimes grandchildren, along with parents and a boarder (meaning they're at the dinner table too) or lodger (meaning they just crash there). The question about the 1935 residence is ingenious. I cannot fathom being with my parents, my adult children and the same non-family member all in the same house for 5 years, yet many of the lodgers I'm indexing seem to be in long term relationships with families. There doesn't seem to be any discernible difference between Northern and Southern California either; from Humboldt to Alameda to Los Angeles County these same household trends keep popping up.

May is going to be a crazy busy month so I can't set a new goal of another 1,000 names to index during it, but had to document that I met my 1,000-in-April goal at a fairly OCD rate of arbitration agreement!