Monday, April 09, 2012

Comparing Home Prices in the 1930 and 1940 Censuses

After doing a lot of 1940 census research on my ancestors and other relatives last week, I started comparing information given in the 1940 census with the previous census of 1930. I was immediately struck by the sharp decline in home values from 1930 to 1940. But we know this was the time of the Great Depression.

My great grandfather, August Beine, owned a home at 2860 Arlington Avenue in St. Louis, Missouri. The 1930 census shows the home valued at $10,000. The same home was valued at $2500 in the 1940 census.

August Beine in the 1940 Census



My mother's great aunt, Sadie Nyhof, and her husband Anton were living at 5974 Romaine Place in St. Louis in 1930. Their home was valued at $10,000. Anton died in 1935. Sadie was still living in the house in 1940, which was valued at $2500. In both censuses, another family rented part of the house. The rent was $47/month in 1930 and $27.50/month in 1940.

These examples show how the value of two homes declined significantly during the Great Depression of the 1930s, a period my parents and grandparents lived through. The 1930 and 1940 censuses can provide intriguing snapshots of this time in our history. Along with home values (or monthly rent), the 1940 census also shows salaries, education (years of school completed, including college) and other interesting information. What have you found?

For information on the 1940 US Census and where to find the records online, see: Compact Guide to the 1940 Census



Sources:

Beine family
1940 US Census, Missouri, St. Louis City, ED 96-519D, Sheet 6A (line 32); enumerated April 18, 1940.
1930 US Census, Missouri, St. Louis City, ED 96-103, Sheet 18B (line 79); enumerated April 6, 1930.

Nyhof family (and renter)
1940 US Census, Missouri, St. Louis City, ED 96-764, Sheet 10B (lines 57 and 59); enumerated April 11-12, 1940.
1930 US Census, Missouri, St. Louis City, ED 96-255, Sheet 7A (lines 20 and 23); enumerated April 7, 1930.

1940 census records listed above were accessed from 1940census.archives.gov. 1930 census records listed above were viewed at the Rocky Mountain (Denver) National Archives branch on microfilm and online at Ancestry.com.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Cool Stuff in the 1940 Census

I've been looking over the basic information given for each person and household in the 1940 U.S. federal census (due to be released on April 2, 2012). Some of it is the same or similar as the information given in the 1930 census. But three items from the 1940 census stood out as being, well, kinda cool...

"Enter X after name of person furnishing information."
(The x has a circle around it.)
For the first time, we'll get to see who gave the information to the census enumerator. And if that person was not a member of the household, the enumerator was instructed: "If you find it necessary to obtain the information from a person who is not a member of the household, write the name of this person in the left-hand margin, opposite the entries for the household, thus: 'Information from John Brown, neighbor.'" Very cool.

"In What Place Did This Person Live on April 1, 1935?"
The census form states: "...For a person who lived in a different place, enter city or town, county, and State, as directed in the Instructions. (Enter actual place of residence, which may differ from mail address.)" Column 19 in this section asked for: "State (or Territory or foreign country)." We'll now know where someone was living half way between the 1930 and 1940 censuses, including if they were living outside the USA. Pretty cool.


"Income in 1939"
Ever wonder how much your ancestors made? The 1940 census should tell you. From the census form: "Amount of money wages or salary received (including commissions)." And: "Did this person receive income of $50 or more from sources other than money wages or salary? (Yes or No)." Leaving you to guess what those other sources might be. Also, the value of the home (if owned) or the monthly rent (if rented) is given in the "household data" section. So you'll get a little glimpse into your ancestor's economic life. Definitely cool.

Cool 1940 Census resources: Compact Guide to the 1940 Census

Enumerator instructions quoted above are from: 1940 Census: Instructions to Enumerators (large PDF file)

Monday, February 27, 2012

The 1940 Census: Helpful Resources

The 1940 U.S. Federal Census was made available digitally on the Internet beginning April 2, 2012. Since then separate indexes were created by FamilySearch volunteers and Ancestry.com. Here are some resources to help you learn more about the 1940 Census and where to find the records online...

Where to Find the 1940 Census Online
The 1940 Census is available for free online at:

1940 Census Records at FamilySearch (free; indexed for all states and some territories)

Information Given in the 1940 Census
For a summary of the information given in the 1940 Census see:
Compact Guide to the 1940 Census

You can read the detailed instructions given to the census enumerators here:
1940 Census: Instructions to Enumerators 

Blank 1940 Census Form
The U.S. Census Bureau has a high resolution PDF of a blank 1940 census form. You can download it from:
Blank 1940 Census Form

This post was updated on 17 September 2012.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Online Death Records, Indexes and Obituaries - Latest Additions and Updates

The Online Searchable Death Indexes and Records Directory has been updated with links to the following items...

Arizona
- Maricopa County: West Valley Genealogical Society Obituaries Project circa 1990s-recent (update: more years added)

Colorado
- Denver Public Library Cemetery, Mortuary and Obituary Indexes; includes...
  • Denver Obituary Indexes 1900-2010 (some early years not included) for the Denver Post or Rocky Mountain News
  • Colorado Obituary Project (statewide index of non-Denver obituaries mostly from the 1970s through 1990)
  • Colorado Statesman Index 1904-1954 (African American Newspaper)
  • Intermountain Jewish News Obituary Index, October 1918 to June 2011
  • Farmer and Hale Mortuary Index 1889-1909
  • Horan Mortuary Burial Registers Index 1900-1956
  • Rogers and Nash Mortuary Records Index 1873-1979
  • Fairmount Cemetery Sexton Records 1891-1953 (includes burial dates for 85,000 burials)
  • Riverside Cemetery African-American Burials 1876-2004
  • Calvary Roman Catholic Cemetery Listing 1889-1893 (index to lot purchases)
  • Arapahoe County Coroner's Reports Index 1876-1891
Florida
- Alachua County Virtual Cemetery Project
- Lee County Genealogical Society Obituaries and Death Notices Index (from the Fort Myers News-Press)
- Palm Beach County Obituaries & Death Notices Index, 1980-early 2011; and Cemetery Records

Georgia
- Pickens County Genealogy Indexes (includes deaths 1919-1923, cemeteries and mortality schedules)

Illinois
- Vermilion County Cemeteries: Photographs of Grave Markers (also includes photos of grave markers from nearby counties)

Indiana
- Southern Indiana Cemetery Database (includes some cemeteries in Orange, Spencer, Vanderburgh and Warrick Counties)

Iowa
- Muscatine County: Muscatine Obituary Index 1840-present (with gaps)

Louisiana
- Baton Rouge State-Times and Morning Advocate Obituaries Index 1952-1991 (Excel files) from the East Baton Rouge Parish Library

Maine
- Aroostook County: Fairmount Cemetery Digital Map (includes burials) (in Presque Isle, Maine)

Missouri
- Miller County Obituaries and Probate Index

New Jersey
- Camden County: City of Camden Historical and Genealogical Records (includes births, marriages, deaths, burial records and more; browsable only)
- Essex County: Archdiocese of Newark Catholic Cemeteries - Genealogy Online Search
- Union County: Plainfield Public Library Courier News Obituary Index mid-1920s to the mid-1980s (partial; more being added)

New York
- New York City Death Records Search 1862-1948, includes: 1868-1894 Manhattan; 1862-1897 Brooklyn; 1898-1948 All Boroughs (update: more years added)

See: Online New York City Death Records Indexes and Obituaries

Ohio
- Cuyahoga County: Woodland Cemetery Burials (Cleveland); See: Online Cleveland & Cuyahoga County, Ohio Death Records & Indexes

- Lucas County: Toledo State Hospital Cemeteries Burial Log
- Lucas County: Toledo-Lucas County Public Library - Blade Obituaries Index 1970-present (update: more years added)
- Trumbull County: Warren-Trumbull County Public Library Obituaries Index, 1900-1939, 1970, part of 1980, 1981 & 1987-2009 (update: years 1900-1939 added)

Oklahoma
- Oklahoma Gravestones Photo Project

Tennessee
- Tennessee Death Indexes 1908-1912 and 1914-1933 (update: years 1932 & 1933 added)
- McNairy County Genealogy Indexes (includes indexes for births, marriages, deaths, cemeteries and more)

Texas
- Collin County Birth, Marriage and Death Indexes
- Collin County: Plano Star Courier Name Indexes 1918-1922
- Fannin County Genealogy Indexes (includes cemetery burials, death indexes and other items)
- Harris County: Glenwood Cemetery Burial Records Index (Houston, Texas)

Wisconsin
- Wisconsin Medical Journal (WMJ) Physician Obituary Database 1903-2008

See: Online Searchable Death Records Indexes and Obituaries

Monday, October 03, 2011

Recently Added Online Indexes for Cemeteries, Obituaries and Death Records

The Online Searchable Death Indexes and Records Website has been updated with links to the following items...

Alabama
 - Madison County: Huntsville-Madison County Public Library Obituaries Index
 - Madison County: Huntsville Cemeteries (has burial indexes for 5 cemeteries in or near Huntsville, Alabama, including Maple Hill Cemetery)

Alaska
 - Anchorage Newspapers Obituary Index, 1981 through 10-1-2001

Arkansas
 - Sebastian County Birth and Death Records Index from FamilySearch (indexes births and deaths from Sebastian County 1877-1929, and deaths from Fort Smith 1945-1963)

Connecticut
 - New Haven Jewish Cemetery Association Burials Database

Florida
 - Indian River County Library Obituary Indexes 1916-recent; for the Vero Beach Press Journal and other newspapers (update: more years added)

Georgia
 - Sumter County Genealogy Indexes (includes indexes for cemeteries, death certificates and obituaries)
 
Idaho
 - Ada County: Idaho Statesman Obituary Index 1968-Present; from the Boise Public Library (update: more years added)

Indiana
 - Harrison County Public Library Obituary Index

Kansas
 - Crawford County Vital Statistics Database - Birth and Death Records 1886-1911 and Tombstone Transcriptions 1860-1976
 - Rice County: Sterling Cemetery Burials

Maine
 - Knox County: Camden Public Library Local Cemetery Database

Massachusetts
 - Berkshire County Probate Guide and Index 1761-1900
 - Dukes County History and Genealogy for the Town of Tisbury and the Island of Martha's Vineyard (includes some cemetery burials, marriage indexes and death indexes)
 - Franklin Coounty Probate Guide and Index 1812-1925

Michigan
 - Delta County Death Records Index 1865-2009
 - Sanilac County: Sandusky District Library Obituary Database and Cemetery Records

Minnesota
 - Crow Wing County: Evergreen Cemetery Association Directory of the Dead - Burials (Brainerd, MN)
 - Stearns County: St. Cloud Daily Times Obituary Index 1928-recent

Missouri - St. Louis
 - St. Louis Post-Dispatch Obituary Index: covers 1880-1930, 1942-1945, 1960-1969, and 1992-2010 (update: more years added)
 - Westliche Post Obituaries Index 1879-1890 (some months missing); St. Louis German-language newspaper; (update: more years added)
 - St. Louis City Wills Index, Books M-X (1877-1894) and Books Y–J2 (1895-1904); (update: more years added)

 See: Online St. Louis, Missouri Death Records, Indexes & Obituaries

Montana
 - Missoula County: Missoula City Cemetery Burials
 
Nevada
 - Carson City Recorder Genealogy Indexes (includes birth and death records indexes 1887-1957)

New Jersey
 - Bergen County New Jersey Cemeteries

New York
 - Tompkins County Public Library: Indexes for Birth and Death Notices, Obituaries and Gravestone Inscriptions

North Carolina
 - Davidson County: Lexington Dispatch Obituaries Indexes

Ohio
 - The Ohio list was posted separately at: Recently Added Ohio Death Records Indexes, Obituaries and Cemetery Burials

Pennsylvania
 - Allegheny County: Pittsburgh City Deaths, 1870-1905 from FamilySearch (includes scanned images of the death records)
 - Blair County: Alto-Reste Park Cemetery Burials (Altoona, PA)
 - Butler County: Butler Area Public Library Online Obituary Database 1818-2010 (update: more years added)
 - Erie County Public Library Obituary Index 1822-recent
 - Northampton County: Bangor Daily News Genealogy Index 1917-1990 (for births, marriages, obituraries, and more)
 - Philadelphia County: Laurel Hill Cemetery Burials (Philadelphia)

South Dakota
 - Moody County Historical Society Cemetery Database

Utah
 - Salt Lake County Death Records, 1908-1949 from FamilySearch

Vermont
 - Bennington Town Clerk Cemetery and Genealogy Indexes (includes deaths 1763-1850 and other indexes)

Virginia
 - Fairfax County Genealogy and Historical Records Finding Aids (includes death certificate index 1912-1917; will books indexes 1742-1935; marriage book indexes 1853-1957; and other indexes)

Washington
 - Cowlitz County Genealogy Indexes (includes indexes for cemeteries, probate records and wills)
 
Wisconsin
 - Richland County: Newspaper Index of Names with Local Interest 1855-1900 (includes birth, marriage and death notices)
 - Winnebago County: Riverside Cemetery Burials, 1841-1908, an incomplete list
 - Winnebago County: Oakhill Cemetery Burials (Neenah, WI)
 
See: Online Searchable Death Records Indexes and Obituaries

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Recently Added Ohio Death Records Indexes and Cemetery Burials

Links to the items listed below were recently updated or added to: Online Ohio Death Records Indexes and Cemetery Burials

Ohio - General
- Ohio Obituaries Index 1810s-recent from the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center (update: more counties added)

Cleveland and Cincinnati
- Cuyahoga County: Lake View Cemetery Burials (Cleveland)
See: Online Cleveland & Cuyahoga County, Ohio Death Records & Indexes

- Hamilton County: Cincinnati Birth and Death Records 1865-1912 - includes digital images (update: more records added; database is now nearly finished)
- Hamilton County: Cincinnati Catholic Cemetery Society Search Burial Records (includes: St. Mary Catholic Cemetery, St. Joseph Old Catholic Cemetery, St. John Catholic Cemetery, Baltimore Pike Cemetery)
See: Online Cincinnati & Hamilton County, Ohio Death Records & Indexes

Ohio Counties
- Butler County: Greenwood Cemetery Burials (Hamilton, OH)
- Bulter County Cemeteries and Other Genealogy Indexes
- Erie County: Milan Cemetery Burials (Milan, Ohio)
- Franklin County Cemeteries - Gravestone Photos (includes many old and abandoned cemeteries)
- Miami County Genealogy Indexes (includes cemetery, probate and marriage indexes; from the Troy Historical Society)
- Perry County Probate Death Index 1867-1908
- Ross County Probate Court Archives - Genealogy Indexes (includes death records index 1888-1908, probate index 1798-1910, marriage records indexes, and other items)

For links to the above items and more Ohio death indexes, see:
Online Ohio Death Records Indexes, Obituaries and Cemetery Burials