The 1940 census is the first my Dad was included in. He was born in a house on the street my parents still live on, in the house next door to the one in which I grew up. The city of Attleboro, Massachusetts, was a town in 1940 with a population of 22,071 (Thanks to Joel Weintraub for that information!), and on April 2, 2012, my plan is to pour myself a cup (or three) of coffee and scroll through page after page of Attleboro’s census returns until I find him. Thanks to Steve Morse’s Unified 1940 Census ED Finder, I already know which enumeration districts to check first. I grew up hearing stories of the neighbors, so I’ll be looking for them as well. And cousins over on Read Street, and Thurber Ave.
The great aunts in nearby Pawtucket, Rhode Island, will be a bit harder to find, although knowing their address will help once I find the right enumeration district. It’s locating my elusive Great Grandfather Joseph that will be the challenge, and (ever the optimist) the thrill… By 1940, he’d already, quite mysteriously, abandoned his family and left for parts unknown. It would be his last census, as two years later he passed away and was interred in what would later become the family burial plot. While others in the family knew of his whereabouts and activities in the last decade of his life, they took that knowledge to their graves, alongside him in the family plot. Realistically, there’s little chance of locating Joseph until an online index becomes available, but I’ll still be keeping an eye out as I scroll through images in the early days of the census’s release 🙂
Who will you be looking for first?