Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Lesson Learned

My searches in the 1940 Census have been rewarding on many levels, but frustrating on another. I should start with my main search – for my parents. My mother Dorothy Hamilton Kerr and my father who is still living. He is not able to answer the question “Where were you in 1940?” So I will concentrate on the search for my mother.

In my search for her, I have found my grand parents, great grand parents, mom's cousins, her uncle, and every other member of our family who was alive in 1940. The area of search is in Los Angeles County, California. Mom lived in Santa Monica and that is where they met and eventually married on February 25, 1940. Based on their stories and actually showing me where their first home together was located in Hermosa Beach on 1st street, I located my father in the 1940 Voter Registration list and got the house number - 654 1st street. Since dad's name was not coming up in any searches, I decided to do a page by page search of the enumeration district where this house is located. Looking for just the address, to see who was there in April 1940. I could not find the house number. Looking at the last pages of the district, in case they had to go back to the house was also a bust. I have been assured that every page of that district is available for searching. So why the missing addresses of the 600 block of 1st street. Was it just missed?

Mother was not old enough to vote, so she is not on the voter registration list. There is not a specific date on the list, but it would seem to be for the 1940 elections in November. If it was for the primary, then it could be as early as June. That still leaves 3 months of unknown residence. I know that they spent their honeymoon at the San Gorgonio Inn in Banning, California. What I don't know is when. Immediately after marriage? Maybe in April? This is another lessen learned. I have not searched the pages for the Banning census. Writing down all the known information can result in another search area. I can not depend on the spelling of our name to be searched every time. I am sure that dad's hillbilly accent could cause misspelled entries. In all of my searches, I am always aware of a problem with the spelling.

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