Saturday, April 24, 2010

Saturday Night Fun 1930 Census

Hey genea-fanatics - it's Saturday Night, time for more Genealogy Fun!!

What can be more fun than finding records online for FREE? Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1) Go to Pick one of your ancestral family members that was in the 1930 US Census and search for that person. The 1930 US Census is FREE through the end of April on Are you a Footnote member already? Fine. If you are not, you will need to register to access the 1930 census, but they will not ask you for a credit card.

2) When you find the census image with your ancestral family member, figure out how to see the source citation (Hint: click the "About image" link): figure out how to Download the Image; figure out how to Print the image.

Well since I got home late from a concert and will not be near a computer much tomorrow, I will describe how I found all my ancestors in the 1930 census before Ancestry indexed the 1930 census.
About six months before the 1930 census was released just over eight years ago I found a website that listed the boundaries of the enumeration districts for most cities in the USA. I downloaded the list and with a map of Spokane started drawing lines on the map and soon I had all the enumeration districts mapped out for Spokane. The day the census films arrived in our library I was there with my map. I found the enumeration district for the address my mom and her parents were living, pulled out the film and on the first block they listed in that enumeration district was my mom and her parents. They used a separate sheet for each block and went around the block collecting the information, so when I found my grandparents I just put a dime in the machine and out came a copy of that census page.
I also had mapped the voting precincts for 1927, the last year the voting precincts appeared in the city directories. Why? because the 1900, 1910 and 1920 census used the voting precincts for their enumeration districts, but I guess since they were not listed in the 1930 city directory they made their own enumeration districts.
For my dad's family I knew they lived on a farm near Blanchard, Idaho and so they were pretty easy to find and I got lucky as my dad was listed there also. He was still alive when it came out so I asked him where he was and he was working for a logging camp somewhere in North Idaho, so finding him listed with his parents was a bonus.
I then went looking for my aunts and uncle. My uncle Ralph was living in Douglas County and I found him quickly, but since the census taker spelled his last name as Hensen, he is listed that way in the indexes for 1930. It should have been Hansen.
My aunt had married a man named Fred Woltermann and they were living north of Columbus Montana in 1930. In that area they used school districts for their enumeration districts, so I asked my dad what school district Columbus was in (he went to school In Columbus from grade one through the second year of high school). Did not find the Woltermanns in that district so I wandered around the microfilm a little and came upon a Woltermann School District. It listed about 20 people and about 12 or 13 were Woltermanns including Fred and Francis (Hansen) Woltermann. So now I had copies of all four grandparents and 5 of the children of those grandparents. Weeks later when Ancestry finally got the indexes for our area done I checked them and found the same places for all I had found earlier.

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