Saturday, April 28, 2012

1940 Census Indexer

1940 First Indexer Award        

The displayer of this badge certifies that he or she is a proud indexer of the 1940 Census.

1. Name: Kay Haden
2. First Indexed: 2 April 2012
3. First Batch: Oregon
4. Favorite experience: The first one - just knowing I was taking part.
5. I learned about this award from the blog of: The Ancestry Insider (
If you want to help index, visit

Award Rules To earn this award you must index or arbitrate at least one batch of the 1940 Census. Once you have submitted a batch:

1. Copy this entire post, including the rules.
2. Replace the answers to the questions.
3. If you wish, replace the badge with a different size or background. Pick from the choices at
4. Post on your blog.
5. Display the award with pride alongside other awards and badges on your site.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy - Week 17

Week 17: How-To Book: For which genealogy how-to book are you most thankful? Who wrote the book and why does it stand out in your eyes? Is the book currently available? How can other genealogists benefit from its content?

My first thought was The Source; A Guidebook of American Genealogy, edited by Loretto Dennis Szucs & Sandra Hargreaves Luebking. My copy is the revised edition, 1997. Ancestry republished the book in 2006, and it is available in major book stores for about $50.00 Even though this is not a new book, there is so much content that will never be out of date. Copies can be found in most libraries with any sort of genealogical department. It was not designed for Internet sleuthing - this is more of a basic instructional tool for what and how to research and how to make use of what you find. The book is useful for both a beginner or an advanced researcher.

The Source is important to me for two reasons. I like having the book at my fingertips for reference. But then is also has sentimental value. Sandra Luebking taught the first genealogical instructional class I attended and in many ways was my mentor.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy - Week 16

Week #16 – Tech Toys.   Genealogists love their technology toys! Which tech gadget do you appreciate the most? How has this tool enhanced your family history experience? Would you recommend it to others?

I am a late-comer to the magic of iPhone!  I purchased mine in January when a cell phone contract expired - finally.  Here are just a few uses.  I can use it to listen to podcasts about genealogy while I'm walking, and then record reminders to myself about the new ideas I've heard.  I can record family interviews.  I can take photographs of everything from book pages to tombstones.  I can make notes of research tasks to take to the library.  I can access my family files on Ancestry or MyHeritage. I can access my books on my Kindle Fire - many of which are genealogy related.  When I'm away from home, I can still read my email and respond to inquiries about my genealogy posted online.  I used the RootsTech app extensively when I attended the conference in February.

I don't yet own an iPad but I will when my mini-notebook is obsolete, because I'm sure I could do all of these tasks on a larger screen!  However, it will not have the portability of the iPhone.

I would definitely recommend a smart-phone as a genealogy research helper.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy - Week 15

Week 15: Volunteers: Tell us about a volunteer you appreciate. What does this person do for the genealogical community? How has he or she touched your heart?
This is your chance to show some love for those who selflessly give their time to family history.

I just want to recognize and salute all of the volunteers who are indexing the 1940 Census.  No other project of this size has ever taken place by so many volunteers of the genealogy community.  I think it is astounding that so many people have agreed and are working feverishly even as I type this post - just to make it easier for all of us to find our ancestors, or ourselves. Pats on the back to all of you [myself included] and keep up the good work!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

1940 Census

I certainly don't want to be left out of the discussions regarding the 1940 census.  Here is my experience to date.

I am a FamilySearch indexer and I did index three pages (120 names) on the first day - April 2.  They came online late in the afternoon.  My goal is to index at least three pages per day for the month of April.  I'll be away most of the month of May without computer access so I'll index more during April if at all possible.  I'm just picking whatever state pops up first - because my own states of interest - Tennessee, Texas, and Arkansas - aren't available.  I was already an indexer, but these images are clear and readable - they are a pleasure to index.

Now, I was born in January of 1940 so I should be in this census.  The Instructions were to include those born prior to 1 April 1940 so that would be me.  I had the address of an apartment in Nashville, Tennessee, that was on my Birth Certificate in January.  So early-on I went to the Steve Morse website and found the Enumeration District for that address - only one choice.  I was ready!  None of the sites had Tennessee available on April 2nd.  By Tuesday, the 3rd, Tennessee was up and I hurried to that Enumeration District.  Alas, alas - I found the address [obviously an apartment building which I expected] in a very short amount of time and the surrounding addresses reflected the block I had found through Google maps and Steve Morse's website.  No question this matched the address on my birth certificate.  But my parents and myself weren't there anymore.  Looks like they moved soon after my birth.  I'll have to wait for an Index for Nashville.  So sad!  I'll probably be clicking through that whole Enumeration District and those surrounding, as I have time - hoping they did not move far.

The success story.  My husband was born in early 1939 so should be age one in the 1940 Census.  I didn't know for sure, but believed his family was living in Ladonia, Fannin County, Texas in 1940 - by the next year they had moved to Arkansas.  Without doubt his grandparents and great-grandparents were living in Ladonia, in 1940.  On Tuesday, April 3rd, I saw that Fannin County, Texas was up on and had only a single Enumeration District - 74-21.  Not surprising - I've visited this little town many times.  Was bigger then than now, but never largely populated.  There were only 36 images.  On 3B there they were!  My mother-in-law and father-in-law, my husband's older brother, age four, and one-year-old Robert D. Haden.   A poignant moment - my husband passed away in 2004 - the others deceased several years earlier.  From that small family only my husband's younger brother - not yet born in 1940 - is still living.  They were renting a house at 80 Church Street in Ladonia.  The next time I go back I can probably find the very house - and I'll be checking Google Earth.  My father-in-law was driving a truck for a wholesale vegetable company.  I happen to know that was his father's business - they grew a lot of sweet peppers and onions.  My husband's brother, when consulted at the time of his birth, had suggested they name my husband "Onion Plant".

With only 36 images for the whole town, I quickly found my husband's Haden grandparents and great-grandparents, as well as the families of two great uncles on the Haden side.  I found several cousins of my mother-in-law's family but surprisingly her parents aren't there.  However, they were farmers and it's likely they are in another Enumeration District outside the town - they have always been elusive in the Censuses.  I found Dr. Sam Fry who delivered my husband - rather he arrived just after the birth.  He was my mother-in-law's uncle on the maternal side.  Dr. Fry failed to note the baby's name on his birth certificate - years later when we ordered a copy, we discovered my husband was Baby Boy Haden.  Would you believe I own the antique oak hall tree that stood in Dr. Fry's reception area?   Dr. Fry had no children and when he died, his sister, my husband's maternal grandmother, inherited that piece of furniture and later gave it to us because of the very curious connection to the good doctor.

I have work to do - I did not download all of the above images and I'm sure in my haste to view the pages, I missed other people I'll recognize when I take the time.  My husband's families, both maternal and paternal, lived in this little town for over a century.  I also have two counties in Arkansas to visit....

Happy hunting to all of you!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy - Week 14

Week 14. State and National Societies: Last week we paid tribute to local genealogical and historical societies. This week we’re going to think bigger. For which state, provincial or national society are you most thankful? What makes this society special? How do the publications and events of this group assist in your family history research?

Hands down, the answer would have to be the New England Historical and Genealogical Society.  I joined perhaps twenty years ago so I could have access to their mail lending library.  At the time I was living in Alabama and although I had access to excellent libraries, they had little to offer in the way of materials from New England or New York where most of my mother's families had first landed after crossing the big pond.  Nothing made me happier than a new delivery of books!   I used the lending library until it was discontinued.

Their website - American Ancestors - is now what those boxes of books used to be.  They continue to add more and more databases and publications and it seems that I find new treasures almost every time I visit the site.  Their own publications The New England Historical and Genealogical Society Register and American Ancestors:  New England, New York and Beyond are always read cover to cover.  I have found my families in these publications, but I've also learned a great deal about the research process.  The NEHGS promotion of the Great Migration study has also been valuable to me - not just because I had ancestors who were part of that migration, but because of all the information that has been provided regarding that time period.

I have been privileged to visit the NEHGS library in person.  Wow!  That may have been the most wonderful four days of my twenty-plus years of research.    I would almost move to Boston  ...except this Girl-Raised-In-the-South would likely not survive a Boston winter.

So ....a huge THANKS to NEHGS for being there!