29 April 2012

Ice Cream

In my family, ice cream is king. My dad had to have a dish of ice cream before bed each night. He inherited this from his mother. A weakness for ice cream is a sure sign that you are descended from them.

I was looking for some information on my grandmother's uncles who all settled for a time in and around LeMars, Plymouth County, IA. Her uncle Richard "RH" Kain served three terms as mayor of LeMars.

Imagine my surprise when I came across the following here:
Le Mars is recognized as "The Ice Cream Capital of the World" because more ice cream is made here by a single company (Wells' Dairy, makers of Blue Bunny) than in any other city in the world -- more than 100 million gallons. Enjoy the annual Ice Cream Days festival each June, and the popular Plymouth County Fair, Iowa's second largest.
Well that sure explains  a lot! My great-great-uncle was mayor of "The Ice Cream Capital of the World." I think I'll go have a dish of vanilla to celebrate.

24 April 2012

Tombstone Tuesday: Helena Fitzler

This is the grave marker for my great-great-grandmother, Anna Helena (Schmitt) Fitzler.

I have not yet been able to locate her husband's grave. That would be my great-great-grandfather John Wymer Fitzler. I'm pretty sure he died in Marshall Co., IL. Thanks to a recently found obituary for Helena that I wrote about here, I've managed to narrow down the date of his death to around 1892. I'll find him eventually.

23 April 2012

Getting organized

I have been working on getting my paper files organized. I started by following "Dear Myrtle's" system of Surname Notebooks. It looks like she moved the web pages describing her method, but Randy Seaver has a good overview here. I especially liked the idea of using the Surname Notebooks as coffee table books that people could browse through.

Then I read all about Barry J. Ewell's color-coded folder system. I liked that way of organizing paper records, too. Oh, who am I kidding, I'm a sucker for any thing organizational. I could spend a ton of money at the Container Store.

While Barry's method seemed straight-forward and well thought out, I didn't want to abandon my Surname Notebooks. So I started creating a hybrid system.

I have a notebook for each surname. They are labeled with the surname and numbered by the ahnentafel number of the female ancestor who introduced that name into my tree. So I have 1-Huigens (which is actually two notebooks, one for just for me, my wife and my offspring), 3-Ogden, 5-Kain, 7-Johnson, etc.

I have divided each notebook by family as Barry suggests with his folders. I put a family group sheet for each family in a clear plastic protective sheet. Then I used 2" clear, self-adhesive index tabs to turn each family group sheet into a divider sheet. For the main family lines, I put the tabs near the top of the page and labeled each with the husband and wife for that family. I put the oldest families first, so that the notebooks are chronological from front to back.

For all the other family sheets, I created an insert with just the relative's name, put the tab in the middle along the edge and arranged the children in birth order behind their parents' sheet. Information about the direct ancestors, starting with a marriage record, goes in protective sheets in chronological order after the main family tab; information about the children and their families goes in protective sheets behind each child's tab. For my direct ancestors, I put the tab on a sheet holding their birth certificate, if I had it. Otherwise, I just used a duplicate family group sheet until I can find a document relating to their birth or baptism. I also used a yellow highlighter on the tab insert with their name on it to make it easier to identify my ancestors.

So this is where I'll put all my hard copy records and documents. I also bought some protective sheets for holding 4x6 photos that will make the notebooks more interesting for people to peruse. It turns out that page after page of records is none too exciting to those not bitten by the genealogy bug.

So far the system is working out well. I've set up the two Huigens notebooks. A grand total of four families in the second of them: my parents, my grandparents, my great-grandparents and my great-great-grandparents. That's it until I can take my Dutch line back across the Atlantic. I've also just finished my Ogden notebook. My mom's paternal line goes back to John Ogden and Judith Budd in colonial New York. I think I had to make tabs for eight or nine different families and some of them had up to fourteen children. Needless to say, it took a while to get that book set up. Next up will be the Kains, which is only two families. The Strayer notebook will be another one with a lot of families going back to my German ancestors in colonial Pennsylvania.

The only issue that I'm struggling with is what to do with my grandmothers who had prior or subsequent marriages. One of my options is to put them in the surname book of their husband who is my ancestor, but why would Catherine Toemmes marriage to Nicholas Wend after my g-g-grandfather died belong in the Huigens notebook? Who would think to look for it there? I could put it back in the Toemmes notebook, but that seems unsatisfactory, too. I may just create a separate notebook and file those families in alphabetical order by the husband's surname or my grandmother's maiden name. That just leaves me with finding a way to let someone looking at a surname notebook know that a prior or subsequent family for the mother exists with information on half-brothers and sisters filed somewhere else. I'd appreciate any suggestions on dealing with this.

21 April 2012

Surname Saturday: 75 - Jacobs

Another German surname. There's a few more of them on the way.

1. Kevin Joseph HUIGENS

2. Joseph Anthony HUIGENS
3. Shirley Ann OGDEN

4. Joseph Andrew HUIGENS (b. 9 Mar 1891 near Creighton, Knox Co., NE, m. 18 Feb 1914 at St. Ludgers Catholic Church in Creighton, Knox Co., NE, d. 8 Nov 1957 in Rushville, Sheridan Co., NE)
5. Mary Julia KAIN (b. 19 May 1896 in Knox Co., NE, d. 29 Apr 1979 in Rushville, Sheridan Co., NE)

8. John Edward HUIGENS (b. 15 Jun 1862 near Henry, Marshall Co., m. 28 Jan 1884 at St. Mary's Catholic Church, Henry, Marshall Co., IL, d. 12 Apr 1949 in Creighton, Knox Co., NE)
9. Mary FITZLER (b. 22 Feb 1866 in Marshall Co., IL, d. 6 Feb 1949 in Creighton, Knox Co., NE)

18. Johan Wimer "Wymer" FITZLER (b. 23 Jul 1832 in Wolperath, Rhein Province, Prussia, m. at St. Patrick Catholic Church, LaSalle, LaSalle Co., IL, d. abt 1888 in Marshall Co., IL)
19. Anna Helene SCHMITT (b. 17 Aug 1833 in Eischeid, Rhein Province, Prussia, d. 20 May 1904 in Creighton, Knox Co., NE)

36. Wimar FITZLER (b. 29 Dec 1774 in Wolperath, Palatinate, HRE, m. 25 Aug 1820 in Neunkirchen, Juelich-Cleves-Berg Province, Prussia, d. after 1834 in Prussia)
37. Anna Margaretha FELDER (b. 9 Apr 1798 in Wiescheid, Palatinate, HRE, d. after 1834 in Prussia)

74. Heinrich FELDER (b. Niederhorbach, Germany)
75. Anna Christina JACOBS

That's it. That's all I have on my Jacobs line. Just a name for a great-great-great-great-grandmother from some time around the beginning of the 19th century.

19 April 2012

Abundant Genealogy: Weeks 15 and 16

I've fallen behind on this, so it's time to catch up

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.

This was a tough one. My choice is only marginally genealogy related but I have to say I am truly grateful to Tom Bogner and his work on preserving the cemetery near Henry, IL that sits in the middle of a cornfield. My great-great-grandfather Evert Huigens/Eberhard Heigens and his mother-in-law, my great-great-great-grandmother Maria (Schmitt) Toemmes are buried there. Without Tom's efforts to protect the cemetery from the encroachment of the farmer who owns the land surrounding it, I don't think the remains of two of my ancestors would have a chance of remaining undisturbed.

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 don't have nearly enough tech toys. My most useful one is a digital camera. It's come in handy at cemeteries and family gatherings. I hope to be able to use it when I make my first trip to a court house and come across documents that cannot be photocopied. Maybe I'll give it a trial run at a library, where I have the backup option of photocopying.

18 April 2012

Obit for Mrs. Helena Fitzler

Last night I was looking for Nebraska newspaper archives to see where I might be able to get access to news papers for Knox County or the town of Creighton. I came across the Nebraska's Newspapers site. This is a joint venture of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and the Nebraska State Historical Society. I clicked on the Browse link and a map of Nebraska appeared with seven cities indicated. One of them was Norfolk, which is near Creighton, so I clicked on it. They had digitized images of issues from 1899 to 1912. A quick check in ancestry.com showed me that my great-great-grandmother Anna Helena (Schmitt) Fitzler died on 20 May 1904. So, I went looking for the issue of the Norfolk Weekly News-Journal for that week. Lo and behold, in the upper left hand corner of page 2 for the issue of 27 May 1904 was the headline "North Nebraska Deaths" and there it was.



    Creighton, Neb. May 21.-- Special
to The News:  Mrs. Helena Fitzler of
Creighton died here yesterday after-
noon at 3 o'clock of old age.  She was
seventy-two years old and was born 
in Germany.  She came to this coun-
try with her parents, locating in Hen-
ry, Ill.  After the death of her hus-
band, Mrs. Fitzler moved to Creighton
and has made this her home for the 
past twelve years.  She owned prop-
erty in Illinois and owned her home 
in Creighton.
    She leaves six daughters and one 
son, John Fitzler, who is unmarried, 
and who is employed in the store of
Loeble & Son, of Creighton.  Maggie
Rublow, Mary Higgons, Lizzie Bloom,
of Knox county;  Mr. and Mrs. Peter
John of Sheldon, Ia., Helen Boisbors
of Mendota, Ill, Kate Schubert of 
Manson, Ia., were all here at the bed-
side of Mrs. Fitzler when the end 
    The funeral will be held Sunday af-
ternoon at 3 o'clock from the Catholic
church, Rev. Father Windols in
    Helena Fitzler was a good old lady
and will be greatly missed by the cit-
izens and people of Creighton.  She
was known universally as "Grandma" 
Fitzler and her kindly nature had
made for her friends in every corner
of Knox county.
 Lots of great information! First, a more accurate date for her husband's death. I had been assuming it was between his appearance in the 1880 US Census and the 1900 US Census when Helena was listed alone in Creighton. This narrows that range down to sometime around 1892, twelve years before Helena's death. Awesome! Second, I now have the married names of all her daughters, even though the spelling on some is horribly butchered (it's Richling, Boisdorf and Huigens). These are my Grandpa Joe's aunts on his mother's side. Wunderbar!

However, I don't believe she came to America with her parents. I have her a on passenger list for the Charles Cooper with her future sister-in-law. I'll check the list for other Schmitt's but I'll be surprised if I find any. On the other hand, they would have been the grandparents for these seven children. If one of the daughters was the informant for this article, they probably knew better than me. On the third hand, on her death certificate, Helena's parents are listed as "Mr. Smith" and "Mrs. Helena Schmitt." If they knew their grandparents, why didn't they know their grandfather's name?

Several questions answered and a new one raised.

17 April 2012

Tombstone Tuesday: First of the Great-Greats

I've posted photos of the grave markers for all my grandparents and great-grandparents. So it's on to the great-great-grandparents.

I've previously posted about my great-great-grandfather Evert Huigens's broken tombstone. His wife, my great-great-grandmother Katherine (Toemmes) Huigens Wend remarried after his death. She and her second husband, Nicholas Wend, are buried in St. Patrick Cemetery in Henry, Marshall Co., IL.

16 April 2012

April 2012: Status of research on Esther Louise Johnson

Here is the status of my research on my maternal grandmother. I've switched to keeping these documents as notes in Evernote. I've set up a notebook for each surname in my ancestry, named starting with the ahnentafel number of the first female ancestor with that surname. So the research status note for Grandma Ogden is in notebook "007-Johnson."

7. Esther Louise JOHNSON
What was her full name?

Esther L OGDEN: grave marker, SD death record, funeral card, obit
Esther Laurie JOHNSON: newspaper report of marriage license [hand-written correction to “Louise”]
Esther Louise JOHNSON: NE state report of marriage, SS-5
To-do: Rock Island Co. birth record, church baptism record, SS-5, newspapers, Sheridan Co. marriage license
To-do: children’s vital records, Rock Island Co. birth record, church baptism record, newspapers, Sheridan Co. marriage license
Who were her parents?
Gust and Rose JOHNSON: 1910 US Census
Gust A and Rose JOHNSON: 1920 US Census
Gust A JOHNSON and Rosabell STRAYER: NE state report of marriage
Gust A JOHNSON and Rosabelle STRAYER: SD death record
Gust. A. JOHNSON and Roseabelle STRAYER: SS-5
Gust and Rosabelle JOHNSON: obituary
To-do: Rock Island Co. birth record, church baptism record, newspapers, mother’s obituary, Sheridan Co. marriage license; children not listed in father’s obituary
When was she born?
23-Feb-1902: Grave marker, obituary, funeral card, SSDI, SD death record, SS-5
abt 1902: 1910, 1920, 1930 US census, 1935 SD Census, NE state report of marriage
abt 1903: 1945 SD Census
To-do: Rock Island Co. birth record, church baptism record, newspapers
Where was she born?
Milan, Rock Island Co., IL: obituary, children’s 1945 SD Census card images, SS-5
IL: 1910, 1920, 1930 US Census
NE: 1935 SD Census, children’s 1935 SD Census cards
To-do: find exact location of family in 1902 land records, Rock Island Co. birth record, county or city directory for 1902, newspapers, children’s census records
Where did she go to school?
Gordon HS: interview with Mom on 7-Mar-2010
To-do: NE school census, Gordon HS records
How long did she go to school?
After 11th grade, family moved to Henning MN, new HS wouldn’t accept all her credits, would have had to retake classes, decided to skip it and did not attend HS in MN, she never graduated from HS: interview with Mom on 7-Mar-2010
11 g: 1935 SD Census
3 years of high school: 1940 US Census\
12 gr: 1945 SD Census
To-do: NE school census, Gordon HS records
When did her family move from IL to Wayne Co., NE?  
Sometime between 1902 birth and Apr 1910 since they are In Wayne Co., NE in Apr 1910: 1910 US Census
“At the age of 2 she moved with her parents to Winside, NE”: obituary (that would make it ca. 1904)
        To-do: IL and NE land records, county directories, newspapers
When from Wayne Co. to Gordon?  
Between Apr 1910 and Apr 1914: 1910 US Census and obituary for Harriet (Howard) STRAYER when Esther is in Gordon
“...in 1920 she moved to Gordon, NE”: obituary [this is most likely when they moved to MN]
To-do: NE land records, county directories, newspapers
When to Henning?
Moved to Henning during summer between Jr and Sr year of high school: interview with Mom on 7-Mar-2010 (that would be about 1919, but they are in Gordon at the end of Jan, begin of Feb for 1920 US Census; they probably moved in the summer of 1920)\
bef. 19 Mar 1929: NE state report of marriage
To-do: IL, NE and MN land records, county directories, newspapers
Where did she live?
313 Spruce St., Gordon, NE in Oct. 1963: SS-5
See father and husband’s records
When did she die?
24-Mar-1984: Obituary, grave marker, funeral card, SD state death record
To-do: Rushville church records (Morse Methodist), probate recordsMar-1984: SSDI
Where did she die?
Black Hills Rehabilitation Hospital, Rapid City: Obituary, SD state death record
To-do: Nothing
What was the cause of death?
Cardio-respiratory arrest, orthostatic pneumonia, general inanition: SD death record
To-do: Nothing
Where is she buried?
Fairview Cemetery in Rushville: funeral card, grave marker photo, obituary, SD state death record
To do: Nothing

The only thing that I'd like to know more about is the exact location of her family when she was born. In 1900 her parents were living in Milan, Blackhawk Twp., Rock Island Co., IL. The census listing indicates they were renting, so land records probably won't help. I need to look for city or township or county directories from this time period.

15 April 2012

Census Sunday: Another 1790 entry

Today I decided to see if there was anyone else in my family tree that would have been in the 1790 US Census. I have previously blogged about finding Peter Strayer and George Stauch and George Schaeffer. I went through the family tree again and discovered that Johann Georg Klinefelter, another fifth great-grandfather and father-in-law of George Schaeffer, died in 1794 in Shrewsbury, Dover Co., PA. I went looking for him in the 1790 US Census and found him with no trouble.

(1790 U.S. census, Shrewsbury, York Township, York County, Pennsylvania, p.3 , col. 2, line 1, John Clinefelter; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 Apr 2012); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M637, Roll: 9; Page: 359; Image: 195.)

He's there at the top of the second column as John Clinefelter. There are other Shrewsbury Clinefelter and Kleinfeller [sic] households at the bottom of the first column. They are probably related somehow, maybe sons or brothers.

By clicking on an ancestry.com leaf, I also discovered that someone had posted a photocopy of a page from a book called "Early German Settlers of York County, Pennsylvania" by Keith A. Dull. (Dull, Keith A. 2009. Early German settlers of York County, Pennsylvania. Westminster, MD: Heritage Books.) Originally published in 1997, a revised edition was last published in May 2009. The library in Ft. Wayne has a copy (not sure which edition) so I added it to my list for that library on Worldcat.org. It should be a great source of information on my Strayer, Stauch, Schaeffer and Klinefelter lines and any other early German families of that area that I don't know about yet.

14 April 2012

Surname Saturday: 73 - Schmitz

This week begins the thirty-two surnames introduced by my great-great-great-great-grandmothers, my grandparents' grandparents' grandmothers. Except I don't know all thirty-two names. I think I have eight of them, plus the patronymic names of four Swedish g-g-g-g-grandmothers.

Ahnentafel numbers 65 and 67 are in my unexplored Dutch line. 69 and 71 are the mothers of Johan Toemmes and Maria Schmitt of Trassem, Prussia. Trassem is now located in the Trier-Saarburg district in the west of Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.

Which bring us to number 73, Anna Margaretha Schmitz.

1. Kevin Joseph HUIGENS

2. Joseph Anthony HUIGENS
3. Shirley Ann OGDEN

4. Joseph Andrew HUIGENS (b. 9 Mar 1891 near Creighton, Knox Co., NE, m. 18 Feb 1914 at St. Ludgers Catholic Church in Creighton, Knox Co., NE, d. 8 Nov 1957 in Rushville, Sheridan Co., NE)
5. Mary Julia KAIN (b. 19 May 1896 in Knox Co., NE, d. 29 Apr 1979 in Rushville, Sheridan Co., NE)

8. John Edward HUIGENS (b. 15 Jun 1862 near Henry, Marshall Co., m. 28 Jan 1884 at St. Mary's Catholic Church, Henry, Marshall Co., IL, d. 12 Apr 1949 in Creighton, Knox Co., NE)
9. Mary FITZLER (b. 22 Feb 1866 in Marshall Co., IL, d. 6 Feb 1949 in Creighton, Knox Co., NE)

18. Johan Wimer "Wymer" FITZLER (b. 23 Jul 1832 in Wolperath, Rhein Province, Prussia, m. at St. Patrick Catholic Church, LaSalle, LaSalle Co., IL, d. abt 1888 in Marshall Co., IL)
19. Anna Helene SCHMITT (b. 17 Aug 1833 in Eischeid, Rhein Province, Prussia, d. 20 May 1904 in Creighton, Knox Co., NE)

36. Wimar FITZLER (b. 29 Dec 1774 in Wolperath, Palatinate, HRE, m. 25 Aug 1820 in Neunkirchen, Juelich-Cleves-Berg Province, Prussia, d. after 1834 in Prussia)
37. Anna Margaretha FELDER (b. 9 Apr 1798 in Wiescheid, Palatinate, HRE, d. after 1834 in Prussia)

72. Heinrich FITZLER (b. 11 Jan 1750 in Neukirchen, Palatinate, HRE, m. ? in ?, d. ? in ?)
73. Anna Margaretha SCHMITZ (b. 15 Sep 1760 in Neukirchen, Palatinate, HRE, d. ? in ?)

146, Wimar SCHMITZ

I get the feeling that Schmitz research in Germany will be about as easy as researching my two separate Schmitt lines. 

09 April 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy: Week 14 - State and National Societies

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?

I'll have to go with the Minnesota Historical Society. Their website allows access to vital records that have provided me a lot of information and copies of documents, like my mother's birth certificate, my great-grandparents' death certificates, death certificates for some distant Kain relatives and more than I can remember. The indexes have even given me information on my cousin's daughters. 

08 April 2012

Census Sunday: Emery Ogden Family in 1940 US Census

Here is my transcription of the census entry for my mother's family from the 1940 US Census.

State: SD
County: Shannon
Township, or other division of county: Unorganized T35 + 36, R43+44
S. D. No. 2
E.D. No. 57-2

1. Street, avenue, road, etc.
2. House number (in cities and towns)

Household Data
3. Number of Household: 301
4. Home owned or rented: R
5. Value of home (if owned) or monthly rental (if rented): 5
6. Does this household live on a farm? Yes

7. Name of person: 
 Emery Ogden
Esther Ogden
Shirley Ogden
Donald Ogden
Rosaline Ogden
William Ogden
8. Relationship of this person to head of household:  Head Wife Daughter Son Daughter Son
9. Sex:  M F F M F M
10. Color or Race:  W W W W W W
11. Age at last birthday:  43 38 8 6 4 1
12. Marital Status:  M M S S S S
13. Attended school or college any time since March 1, 1940:  No No Yes Yes No No
14. Highest grade of school completed:  6 H3 2 0 0 0
15. Place of birth:  South Dakota Illinois Minnesota Nebraska South Dakota Nebraska
16. Citizenship of foreign born: 
17. Residence on 1 April, 1935 - City or town:  R R R R
18. Residence on 1 April, 1935 - County:  Shannon Shannon Shannon Shannon
19. Residence on 1 April, 1935 - State or foreign country:  South Dakota South Dakota South Dakota South Dakota
20. On a farm?  Yes Yes Yes Yes
21. Was this person AT WORK for pay or profit in private or nonemergency Gov't. work during week of March 24-30? (Yes or No):  Yes No
22. If not, was he at work on, or assigned to, public EMERGENCY WORK (WPA, NYA, CCC, etc.) during -week of March 24-30? (Yes or No):  - No
23. If neither at work nor assigned to public emergency work. ("No" in Cols. 21 and 22), Was this person SEEKING WORK?(Yes or No):  - No
24. If not seeking work, did he HAVE A JOB, business, etc.? (Yes or No):  - No
25. Indicate whether engaged in home house-work (H), in school (S), unable to work (U), or other (Ot):  - H
26. Number of hours worked during week of March 24-30, 1940:  70
27. Duration of unemployment up to March 30, 1940 - in weeks:
28. Occupation: Trade, profession, or particular kind of work, as frame spinner, salesman, rivet heater ,music teacher:  Farmer
29. Industry: Industry or business, as cotton mill, retail grocery, farm, shipyard, public school:  Farm
30. Class of worker:  OA
31. Number of weeks worked in 1939 (Equivalent full-time weeks):  52 0
32, Income in 1939 (12 months ended December 31, 1939): Amount of money wages or salary received (including commissions):  0 0
33. Did this person receive income of $50 or more from sources other than money wages or salary (Yes or No):  Yes Yes
34. Number of farm schedule:  46

Source citation: 
1940 U.S. census, Shannon County, South Dakota,  Unorganized T35 + 36, R43+44 , population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 57-2, Sheet No. 18A, household 301, line 1, Emery Ogden; digital image, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census (Beta) [database on-line, accessed 5-Aug-2012]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1940. T627, 4,643 rolls.

According to my mother, this farm north of Pine Ridge, SD was a dairy farm. My grandfather, with a 6th grade education, was working 70 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, paying $5 a month in rent, all to keep a roof over his family's head, clothes on their backs and food on the table. I'd love to be able to see the Farm Schedule. It seems these were probably destroyed after the summary data were compiled. Damn. I have 19th century farm schedules for some of my US and Canadian ancestors and they are full of information about turnips and honeybees. I wish I had this same level of detailed info for my 20th century ancestors.

06 April 2012

Latest 1940 US Census Find

I finally found the last of the five ancestral households I wanted to find. I spent most of last night looking through MN ED 56-46 (HENNING VILLAGE) for my Johnson great-grandparents. Lots of Johnson families in Henning, but I could not find Gust and Rose, my Johnson ancestors. They were in MN ED 56-45 in 1930 and according to the Morse and Weintraub Unified 1940 Census ED Finder, they should have been where I was looking.

Tonight I decided to try looking in MN ED 56-45 (HENNING TWP. EXCLUDING HENNING VILLAGE). Guess who was the first household listed on page 1?

That wasn't so hard, was it? I just hope it's that easy to figure out why I can't find my wife's father or his parents on Roselle St. in Oak Park, IL.

05 April 2012

More 1940 US Census Finds

I found my mother's family. They have a page all to themselves in Shannon Co., SD, ED 57-2.

And here in Mission, Todd Co., SD ED 61-,1, is my great-grandfather, William F. Ogden with his second wife. Nearby is a Charbonneau family which may be his in-laws. I also found his daughter Ethel with her husband John Kilber. These are my mom's Aunt Ethel and Uncle John.

That's four out of the five households I wanted to find. I've been through Henning, Otter Tail Co., MN several times looking for my last set of great-grandparents. I've found over a dozen Johnson families in this smal town, but not my Gust and Rose. I guess it's time to look into other EDs near Henning.

03 April 2012

1940 US Census Finds

I found my great-grandparents, John and Mary Huigens in Creighton, NE on ancestry.com:
While looking for them, I also found the families of their sons' BJ and Ed, my grandmother's uncle, John Kennedy, Jr. with his wife and kids, and my grandmother's sister Iona with her husband Fred Dostal. There are probably a lot more relatives in Creighton. They will have to wait until there's an index.

I then found my 13-year-old dad with his family in Sheridan Co., NE. The census taker spelled the name Higgins, but that's them all right. I'm surprised to see that my grandfather had completed 2 years of high school. That's unusual for a farm kid back then.
I'm still looking for my mom's first appearance in the US Census with her family on a farm near Pine Ridge in Shannon Co., SD. Only the NARA has the SD pages on-line but it is a slow hit-or-miss proposition on each page and there are 8 Enumeration Districts to choose from. It may take awhile, but I'll find her.

01 April 2012

Census Sunday: 1940 US Census

I've identified the eleven ancestors that I want to look up on Tuesday.
2. Joseph A. Huigens, Jr
3. Shirley A, Ogden
4. Joseph A. Huigens
5. Julia Huigens
6. Emery J. Ogden
7. Esther L. Ogden
8. John Huigens
9. Mary Huigens
12. William F. Ogden
14. Gustaf A. Johnson
15. Rose Johnson

That's a lot of people. More than I thought I'd find. My dad's other grandparents died in the early 1930's. My mom's grandmother died in 1938.

Fortunately I can reduce this to five households.
1. Joseph A., Julia and Joseph A. Huigens
2. Emery J., Esther L. and Shirley A. Ogden
3. John and Mary Huigens
4. William F. Ogden
5. Gustaf A. and Rose Johnson

Next comes determining where they lived in 1940 and then the Enumeration District (ED). For four of these households, this is a piece of cake. They lived in the same place they did in 1930. So all I have to do is find the ED for 1930 and use Stephen Morse and Joel Weintraub's 1940 ED Finder to convert them. Here's the results.

1. Joe and Julia Huigens family in Sheridan CO., NE 1930: 81-27 1940: 81-7, 81-12, 81-18, 81-26
2. Emery and Esther Ogden family near Pine Ridge, Shannon Co., SD
3. John and Mary Huigens in Creighton, NE 1930: 54-6 1940: 54-6
4. William Ogden in Mission, SD 1930: 61-40 1940: 61-1, 61-26
5. Gust and Rose Johnson in Henning, MN 1930: 56-45 1940: 56-46

So that's a little more complicated than I thought. Only two are a direct one-for-one. Still it won't be too bad. These are rural, sparsely populated areas, so I won't have too many pages to look through. By reading the ED descriptions, I can make some educated guesses which EDs to start with.

According to my mom, her family was living on a dairy farm near Pine Ridge, SD when her sister Margie was born in Nov. 1940. That's not where they were in 1930, 1935 or 1945. There are only 8 EDs for Shannon Co., SD: 57-1 through 57-8. Again, these are areas with low populations so it won't take long to scan through them.

It looks like I'm all set for Tues. The harder part will be trying to find various generations of aunts, uncles and cousins. That's a whole other ballgame.