Notes from the past…


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Good Morning, Mom!

On Monday, at 8 AM sharp (Texas time), the 1940 U S Census becomes available to the public for the first time. Who will be the first person you look for?

Mom, age 5For me, it will be my Mom. Born in 1935, this will be her first appearance in the United States Federal Census. As an index to the 1940 U S Census is not yet available (Volunteer as an indexer!), an address is essential, especially for a larger town like Fort Worth, Texas.

I am fortunate, however, in that I have located my grandparents in the 1940 Fort Worth City Directory. Here they are, living at 920 Boyce Avenue:

Boyce Ave

My next step will be to visit Steve Morse’s Unified 1940 Census ED Finder, where I can enter the Boyce Ave address and a cross street and:

ED 257-148

On Monday, if I click on the highlighted link above, then that census page should appear. Voila! (Even if the page doesn’t appear, I now have the enumeration district number, so I will know where to look when Archives.com makes the 1940 U S Census available on Monday morning.)

Good Morning, Mom!


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What is the 1940 U S Census occupation code for “blood-sucker”?

I’m giving away my age here, but I’m a big fan of Dark Shadows, that wonderful, gothic, creepy soap opera that ran from 1966 to 1971 on ABC. (By the way, the new Dark Shadows movie, starring Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins, opens on 11 May 2012!) I used to sprint home from school every day to get there in time to watch it!

Collins pedigree

Collins Pedigree Chart

If you’ve ever seen an episode of Dark Shadows, then you know that the Collins family history plays an integral part in the show. The dreary old mansion that the Collins family occupies in Collinsport, Maine is filled with portraits of dead (or are they?) family members, and the cemetery and family mausoleum are frequent episode locations. Dr Julia Hoffman even comes to Collinwood in the guise of a genealogist to study the Collins family history, though she’s actually there to try to cure Barnabas of his vampirism! But I digress…

So what would a census-taker find if he knocked on the door of Collinwood on 1 April 1940?

Collins FamilyThis particular census-taker was never seen again…

Collins Pedigree Chart courtesy The Dark Shadows Wiki.