September 3, 2015

Understanding The “M 7” Designation In The 1940 Census

Stevenson with arrow.jpg

 

Stevenson with arrow.jpg

I recently found a 1940 census record that listed the man as married but that designation was crossed out and a 7 was inserted instead. It occurred to me that other people might be wondering what it meant too, so I did a search and found Understanding the 1940 Census at Archives.com. That correction indicates the man is married but that his spouse isn’t living with him.

In 1935 Rex Stevenson was living in Seattle, he was unmarried and was working in the occupation of “Theatrical Booking” for movies. I knew that in 1940 Rex was living in San Francisco, so if I wanted to find a marriage record for him I would begin with a peek in the Washington State Digital Archives to see if he was married before he left for California. He was, to Nola Conn and the wedding took place in Coupeville, Skagit, Washington the 9th of August 1932.

I’ve looked to see where Nola might have been during the time after the marriage and found nothing documented, but I did find in 1940 she was still in Washington state living in her father’s household. In 1940 Nola’s father was employed by the city of Mt. Vernon as a patrolman. Nola’s twin sister Lola is in the household as well, divorced and there is a five year old child Dean Henry listed as Clifford Conn’s grandson.

Dean Henry is the son of Lola Conn, now that I’ve done a bit more research. Imagine, all these clues from one census record mystery!

To explain why I’m researching the Stevenson family, it’s because my nephew’s wife Jill Hohensee Yates is related to that family. While not direct, there is a connection to Jane Russell, the actress. Jane’s mother was the granddaughter of Otto Reinhold Jacobi. Otto Jacobi was the father of Louise Jacobi who married James Stevenson. James Stevenson was one of the older brothers of Isabella Katherine Stevenson who married Benjamin A Ferris. One of their children, Lorne A Ferris and his wife Blanche were the parents of Ernestine Isabel Ferris who married Wilhelm Fredrick Karl Hohensee.

Next on my agenda is to find out how Isabella Stevenson Ferris’ oldest brother William Burden Stevenson who emigrated from Ireland around 1862, just in time to join the Army and serve in the Civil War from Pennsylvania. Now, I’m on a quest to find out why he went to PA to serve.

Pin-up photo of Jane Russell for the Sep. 21, ...

Pin-up photo of Jane Russell for the Sep. 21, 1945 issue of Yank, the Army Weekly, a weekly U.S. Army magazine fully staffed by enlisted men. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Richard Lemuel Bean Migration: VT, MI and Iowa 1808 – 1869

Cornwall-Massena map

Richard Lemuel Bean, son of Lemuel (S? or L?) Bean and unknown mother was born Birth 5 January 1808 in Windsor, Windsor, VT and his Death 16 Jan 1869 in Nashua, Chickasaw, IA

Richard married in 1833 to Sarah Cook whose Birth 04 Apr 1812 in Cornwall, ON, Canada ; her death 01 Aug 1895 in Nashua, Chickasaw, IA

In 1840 the family was living in Massena, St. Lawrence, NY and continued to live in that area until around 1849/50. This is evidenced by the birth locations of the first six children with the exception of Holton Bean who was born in Canada. It can only be speculated on why he might have been born there, but his mother was from Cornwall, Ontario, Canada which is located just across the St. Lawrence River from Massena, NY. Reasonable possibilities could be that because of winter time weather in that part of New York his mother might have been visiting her family in Canada when it was time for her son to be born, or that she was coincidentally there for some other reason.

In 1850, the Bean family was living in a completely different location: Woodhull township, Shiawassee, MI. Richard L. Bean and family is making his living as a farmer.

In 1860 the family had moved again, this time to their final destination, in Nashua, Chickasaw, IA where the last three children, Lemuel, Helen Jane and Andrew Bean were born.

Look For The Children, Find The Parents

Cornwall-Massena map

It was just by a little reverse sleuthing that I found Richard L. Bean and family in the 1850 census. I was searching the census for each child down the line chronologically and found Holton Bean with his parents in Michigan. As it turned out, the census taker had list the family as Richard, R L instead of as it should have been Bean, Richard L. Another instance that made it hard to find the family in that year was that the listing for them was at the bottom of the census page, with three of the children listed at the top of the following page. This is an important thing to keep in mind. Always try to find the children if you can’t find the parents.  

 

1940 Census Thank You Gift

20120825-145549.jpg

The surprise gift in the mail today from the LDS church. How nice to get it. I didn’t expect anything but my own knowledge that I helped in a small way.

20120825-145549.jpg

The Importance Of Considering All Surname Spellings

Jas K Gats -Yates family 1870 TN

Surname Spellings: It’s All In The Eye Of The Beholder

Early on in my genealogical research I was under the impression that it was best to look for the spelling of my maiden name Yates using just those letters. Boy, was I proved wrong almost immediately. While looking in census records for my ancestors with that surname I have found it spelled as Yates, Yats, Aytes, Yeats, Gates, Gats, to name just a few. Actually, the surname Yates refers to “gate keeper” so it wasn’t too far off to see it as Gates.

A lot of this confusion has to do with some illiterate census takers, and (sorry to say) transcribers who just couldn’t read the census takers scribbling. For instance, the Aytes transcription was because the census taker had made a big loop at the beginning of the Y and so to the transcriber it looked like an A. I may never have found my kin in Tennessee if I hadn’t had a kind soul in the Roane County Genealogical Society find the alternate name.

Searching the 1940 US Federal Census (to be released April 2nd, 2012)

With just this one example, I hope that it will encourage you to consider all spellings of the surname for which you are searching. Use your wildest imagination when you do it!

If you will be transcribing the The 1940 US Census, please use your best assessment when it comes to probable name spellings too.

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