Census Sunday – 1940

Census Sunday is one of the newer blogging prompts from Geneabloggers, and after one of my “revelations” this week, it seemed pretty appropriate to talk about the 1940 Census.  After all, the 1940 Census is the most modern Census that has been made available to the public for research.  It provides some of the most in-depth insight into our more modern ancestors.  This Census will yield a wealth of information.  Right?

Well….only if the Census taker had good enough handwriting that the later transcriber could read the last name correctly!  And in the case of my grandparents and aunt and uncle…THAT didn’t happen!


I have not done a huge amount of research with the 1940 Census yet simply because most of the generations that are contained in this Census are ones that I have been able to get most of my information via family interviews and such.  This week, I decided to take a look into the 1940 Census just to pull up information on my Grandparents and my aunt and uncle.  I knew where they lived in 1940, and I figured it would be an easy pickup on my research.  Unfortunately for me, they appeared no where in any of the searches I did on Ancestry.com for that year!

I was convinced I was right about where they lived, and so I began doing some digging.  I checked their residence from both the 1920 and 1930 Census data.  They had lived in Ft. Wayne, Indiana for both of those Censuses, but I did notice that they had moved in between.  Time to check the Census maps for 1940 and see what enumeration district their last “known” address would fall into.  After jumping over to the National Archives to find that info, I pulled up the sheets for Wayne Township, Ward 10, Enumeration District 94-100A, and I began scrolling….and scrolling…..and scrolling.  Then I found the family living about 5 blocks from where they did in 1930.  I also found why they had been so hard to track down.  When the Census sheet was scanned, there was a “smudge” on the “n” in Link.  As a result, the person who had transcribed the Census for Ancestry, had listed the family as “Lisk” instead of “Link.”  Now, why the transcriber had read my grandmother’s first name as “Hanuanah” instead of “Hannah” I will never understand!

US Census – 1940 – Wayne Twp, Ward 10, En Dist 94-100A

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