Monday, April 02, 2012

Who Did I Find First on the 1940 Census?

As I am typing this, it is noon on April 2, 2012.  I thought I would be indexing all day today (and took the day off to be sure I could do just that), but apparently the images won't be available for indexing until later this afternoon.  Instead I decided to utilize the hours of prep work I did to search for some of the people on my list.

I have a total of 37 people/families in 16 different enumeration districts to locate on the 1940 census.  Shouldn't take more than a couple of hours, right?  WRONG!

To be fair, I knew the NARA servers would be overloaded and very slow.  With all the hype, how could it be any other way?  Another reason I took the day off from work.  (It is entirely on principle that I am not doing any searching on Ancestry today).

In the last 3 hours since the census images were officially released, I have managed to download one enumeration district, for Mayfield, Yankton Co., South Dakota.  In that one district, I found 4 people on my list.

The first person I located was my 2nd great grandmother, Theresa (Burns) Slowey, on page 4A, line 19.  

She is listed as a 74-year-old widow with a 5th grade education, living with her son Clarence (also the informant), his wife, and their 5 children.  She was living in the same house in 1935.  Clarence has an 8th grade education and is listed as a farmer.  He is also listed as having been employed in non-emergency government work during the week of March 24-30, and having received more than $50 in income other than wages/salary.  I wonder what that was.

(There is also a Nate B. Slowey listed on line 32, but I have no idea who this person is.  A little mystery I get to solve, I suppose!)

I also found Clarence's brother Clement listed on page 7A, line 22, with his wife and son.  He has an 8th grade education and is listed as a farm laborer.  He is also listed as having been employed in non-emergency government work and receiving more than $50 in incoming other than wages/salary.

Another relative, Peter Slowey, was found on page 6A, line 28.  He only has a 3rd grade education and is listed as a farmer.  His wife, Maud (Cook), is on line 29, which means she gets to answer the supplementary questions.  She's the only one I have found so far who falls into that category.  I know that this is her first marriage and she married at age 34, and her parents were both born in South Dakota.  Unfortunately, that's all these supplemental questions tell me.  I suppose it is much more fortuitous if the persons on lines 14 and 29 are male veterans who are employed.

So I have a few questions to answer: (1) Who is Nate B. Slowey and does he fit into my tree somehow? (2) What is this "other" income of $50+?  (3) What falls into the category of "non-emergency government work?"

Now ... to formulate a proper citation for these records.  That may take the rest of the day.

Do we share any ancestors? Please email me at lostancestors [at] gmail [dot] com


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