As I said yesterday, I am interrupting my series on making a research plan for Little Eddy (Edward Dwyer) in the Civil War to search the 1940 Census. Ancestry.com recently made new states available, including Missouri. Some of my great-grandparents have been eluding me and I have been impatiently waiting for Missouri to be searchable in hopes of finding them. After spending much of the day looking for various relatives, I was glad to read a post by Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings about his search for his grandmother.
When the 1940 Census images were made available in early April, I easily found both sets of grandparents. Of my great-grandparents, five died before the 1940 Census. Of the three remaining, there were two great-grandmothers, Martha Gahr and Emily Cowan, and one great-grandfather, John A French (he had remarried when his children were young so I count his wife as a great-grandmother, too, even if not by blood). I found Martha Gahr in April by browsing the images; she was in the county where she was supposed to be. The others I could not find.
With the indexes, John A French and his wife Vernie were easy to find. They were in Kansas City, Missouri, but not where I had thought. All of their information was correct, including John’s birth in Indian Territory and his attending one year of college (at Drury, in Springfield). Vernie had attended two years of college, which I did not know. I’ll have to ask my mother about this.
Emily Cowan was not in the small town in Missouri that I had supposed when I first looked at the images. My mother then told me that Emily had moved to Saint Louis to live with her younger son Claude (my mother’s uncle). I could not find Claude without an index, but with the index he and his family came right up. But Emily is not there! As Randy did in his search for his grandmother, I tried all of my census tricks. She is not to be found. Perhaps she is one of the names mangled by the enumerator and/or indexer. I expect FamilySearch to have the Missouri index available soon so hopefully I will be able to search there before long.
Otherwise, I guess Emily will be like Randy’s grandmother, “…one of the 3% that were missed in the 1940 U.S. census.” Perhaps she was visiting a sister. I will have to look and see if she turned up with any of them. For the past several hours (Thursday evening) Ancestry searches have not been connecting very well — lots of spinning. Maybe everyone was happy with the states that were added and has been searching like crazy. I hope that tomorrow will be a better day!