December 1, 2015

Understanding The “M 7” Designation In The 1940 Census


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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 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)

How To Edit Amazon Seller Photos In PicMonkey

PicMonkey to the Rescue

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I ran into an interesting challenge recently when I was trying to upload a photo of an item I am selling on Amazon. I had taken some photos with my cell phone and when they were uploaded to the listing, every single one of them was in need of rotation. I tried everything and then thought I would try a site I use all the time for photo manipulation: PicMonkey. As you have guessed, it worked like a charm and within a few minutes I had my photos included with my listing, and it was ready to go live. Of course, this is not just something you can use on the Amazon site, but anywhere you need to edit photos.

For those of you who haven’t ever tried PicMonkey, you can use it for free. I am a “Royal” user, which means I don’t see any ads. If ads don’t bother you, then all you have to do is sign up on the site for a free account and get creative. There are a few things that PM doesn’t make available to free users, like special fonts and such. But more than enough goodies to do what you want.

Genealogy News You Can Use

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It’s Jamboree Time!

A quick shout out about two things genealogy related. One is that starting today there will be an exciting genealogy Jamboree hosted by the Southern California Genealogical Society and attended by all sorts of my genealogy friends from far and wide. If you are unable to attend, you can still take part online by watching their Live Streamed Sessions.  Five of the sessions ask for a nominal payment, while 14 of them are free for your family tree climbing enjoyment.

Help Save Fairview Cemetery in Greenwood, South Carolina

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May 31st of this year marked the first day of cleanup at the Fairview Cemetery with 32 volunteers ready to pitch in and uncover the long-forgotten and neglected graves, some of which belong to my friend Robin Foster’s family members. You can read more about their efforts on Robin’s blog Saving Stories.

23andMe And The 1004 DNA Relatives

When I began doing genealogy decades ago it never really was on my radar that we would be able to find and connect with cousins using our DNA. Now, here we are and our cousins are not only found, but verified by documentation and genetically. We had my husband Jim’s DNA tested through 23andMe some years ago, and we’ve been pleasantly surprised at how many cousins of his paternal and maternal side have also used 23andMe as well and been able to contact us easily.

What We’ve Found

Many things we expected to see were English, Irish and French percentages that would be quite high. What we weren’t sure of was whether or not there was any Native American in Jim’s DNA. Just last year when his profile was updated by 23andMe it showed that there is a 0.1% of Native American blood in Jim’s paternal side of the family. We know now that what we suspected was true, but we’re still on the hunt for the elusive ancestor who brought that DNA into the family.

 What? We Have Jewish Ancestors?

Another surprising bit was that there’s also a 0.6% of Ashkenazi Jewish DNA in the line as well. As it pertains to the Wilkerson line, that was probably a mixing of DNA with some of the family’s northern European lines. As the 23andMe page explains it, “You share DNA history with 23andMe customers that have reported full Ashkenazi ancestry”.

And last, but not least, Jim also has 2.8% of Neanderthal DNA. I find this very interesting, and not because of any humorous aspect, but because, to me, it says the Neanderthals might not have survived to be a recognizable human in present time, but their mixing of DNA with other humanoids says “we adapted”. Who knows what they truly looked like? I mean, after all, “someone” had to be attracted to them, right?

It’s All Relatives

23andMe reports that, as of now, Jim has 1004 DNA relatives; 6 second and third cousins, and 344 fourth cousins. Over time, this number will likely increase. We have made contact with the closest ones with surnames like Boyert, Miller, etc. There are probably many more with whom we could connect, but their DNA profiles are private and not shared.