1940 Census and my family - more missing people #general


Deb(orah) Cohen Skolnik
 

I have not been able to find my grandparents, Tillie and Jacob Gerber,
in Chicago in the 1940 census, despite trying every combination of
misspelling I can think of (and using all different types of wild card
combinations).

Nor can I find my mother, Rose Gerber (born 1918), who probably was still
living with them in Chicago, or in Washington, DC, where she eventually
moved (I don't have the exact date of her relocation).

My mother's brother, Norton Gerber (born 1915), is also not to be found
anywhere, in Chicago, or any other place.

I asked another family member to try searching, and he couldn't find them
either.

I am feeling as if there are records that have not yet been added or
transcribed. If I had exact addresses for folks I could prove this theory
for once and for all, but I don't.

Sigh...

Debbie Skolnik

From: Steven Bachenheimer <bachlab@med.unc.edu>
Sent: Saturday, August 18, 2012 8:34 PM

I think the simplest explanation is that they weren't enumerated.
I have the exact addresses of my parents, grandparents, an uncle and
aunt, and a great uncle and aunt in the Hyde Park section of Chicago, at
the time of the 1940 Census. They are not indexed and nowhere to be seen
in the census sheets >from their corresponding EDs. At the same time, other
close relatives in the same or adjacent EDs were enumerated. If my
relatives weren't home when the enumerator visited, even on repeated
attempts, they were not counted.


Joel Weintraub
 

Group,

Now that the 1940 census has been name indexed by two different and
independent groups, I'm seeing an increase in the number of inquiries here
about "missing" 1940 relatives. One recent post indicated: "I am feeling as
if there are records that have not yet been added or transcribed." Let's
discuss the "undercount" or those people that were actually missed on this
census. First, you should know that the original 1940 census forms were
destroyed decades ago. The population schedules were microfilmed, and that
master film was digitized by the National Archives and sold to the various
groups that transcribed the census. Thus every group is working >from the
same copy. I don't remember exactly, but about 50 EDs were missing >from the
master film, probably lost by the enumerator or census bureau before
filming, but that's a very small number compared to the 150,000 or so EDs
that were enumerated in 1940.

There are many reasons why people were missed. They weren't home, and did
not respond to the blank forms that the enumerator left for them to fill
out. They were residents of cities or sparse rural areas, two difficult
areas to count. The enumerator was given wrong directions and maps as to
what they were supposed to cover. The enumerator just plain made a mistake
and didn't cover one block. The individual was at college or the CCC or
some other government program and was supposed to be enumerated at their
official address (not the college or camp) and that was not clear to the
family and they were missed. And there are probably additional reasons as
well including the fact that minority groups had a high undercount.

So how many people were missed? Six months after the 1940 census was taken,
there was a mandatory draft of men of certain ages. There were fines and
prison terms if one didn't register, and many more men showed up to register
for the draft than predicted by the census itself. The estimates based on
this information, is that about 5% of the population (1 out of 20) were
missed and as many as 8% or so of African-Americans were missed on this
census.

So... have records "not yet been added or transcribed"? I doubt it. All
the records that are available are on the digitized film gotten >from the
National Archives. In addition, we have two independent transcription
groups/indexes for the 1940 census and thus, we have a very low probability
that both groups would have "missed" a sheet >from the same ED.

As to people who are on the 1940 census that you can't find. That's a
different situation. There are a number of reasons why names don't appear
as you expect, and that's the reason why I've been working for over 10 years
on producing locational aids for finding people. But here's my method for
finding people by a name index. 1. relax your assumptions. I try to
produce 30 or 40 name results when I do a name search and I trust my ability
to have a name "jump off the page" at me that might be the target family.
2. less is more in entering information on name templates. In fact, try to
avoid entering last names, but use first names, multiple names together in
the family, birth year plus/minus 2 years at least, birth location, and
where you expect them to be. 3. use wild cards like * and ?. If you don't
know about wild cards, it's time to learn about them. Just yesterday one
member of the OCJGS asked me to find 5 "missing" families in New York city,
and I found 4 of them using the above. But remember, using name indexes
will not tell you if the person was actually missed. You can't prove a
negative with a name index. The only way to show they were missed, is to
use our locational utilities at stevemorse.org and show that the house they
were definitely in, in 1940, was skipped during the enumeration.

Joel Weintraub
Dana Point, CA
https://sites.google.com/site/census1940/


Teewinot
 

On 8/20/2012 2:31 AM, Lisa Lepore wrote:
Try the search tools at stevemorse.org and locate the the census
enumeration district, then read through all the pages until you find
their address. If you can't find the street, or their street number
you will know they were skipped by the enumerator.
This was the only way I could find my grandparents, father and aunt. I
knew where they lived, yet couldn't find them on ancestry.com no matter
what I typed in the search box. Fortunately for me, they were on the
second page of the 30+ pages of their E.D.

According to a message posted here several months ago, the 1940 census was
undercounted by about 7.5 million people.
That's a huge number of people.

It wouldn't surprise me that there are many transcription errors as well
but using the method above, you will know for sure if their street was
included and they were missed, or if there was a transcription error.
In my case, this is true. My Friedman family was indexed as "Friedmer"
on ancestry.com. That's why I couldn't locate them using their search.
Steve Morse's finding tools are invaluable!

Jeri Friedman (Florida, but born in NY)
teewinot13@bellsouth.net

RESEARCHING: FRIEDMAN, MILLER, BERKOWITZ (Grodno, Poland/Russia/Belarus);
GEIST (?,Russia); GLICKMAN, STURMAN, KAPLAN, ROTENBERG (Bilgoraj, Lublin,
Poland/Russia); LIEB/LEIBOWITZ (Jassy/Iasi, Romania); GALINSKY, GELLIS
(Suwalki, Poland/Russia); KRASNOPOLSKY, SILBERMAN/SILVERMAN (Krasnopol,
Poland/Russia); KOPCIANSKY (?, Poland/Russia); GOLDSTEIN, SCHRAGER (?,
Romania); CYRULNIK (Suwalki, Poland/Russia and Kalvarija, Lithuania)


Werner Hirsch
 

There are definitely problems with the indexed 1940 Census. When this census
first became available, without the index, I was able to find me and my parents,
living with another family in Hartford, CT, when I searched the index by street
address. Now that the index is available, neither my parents and I, nor our
host family appear to be listed.

After much searching, I was finally able to find myself, but instead of Werner
HIRSCH, I was listed as "Wenner Hirach." My mother Else was listed as "Alee,"
and the host family's name KARLINER was listed as "KOBILNER." Elsewhere in the
census, my father-in-law, Louis, was listed as "Imes" and my mother-in-law,
Helen, was listed as "Achin."

Searching the index for other names as well, I found that I got the best results
when I entered as few letters as possible in the name field, with wild cards,
and entering the place of residence, when known, and the year (approximate is
OK) and country of birth.

Good luck!

Werner HIRSCH
New Haven, CT

From: Debbie Skolnik <debskolnik@yahoo.com>
Date: Sun, 19 Aug 2012 13:45:56 -0700 (PDT)
I have not been able to find my grandparents, Tillie and Jacob Gerber,
in Chicago in the 1940 census, despite trying every combination of
misspelling I can think of (and using all different types of wild card
combinations).

Nor can I find my mother, Rose Gerber (born 1918), who probably was still
living with them in Chicago, or in Washington, DC, where she eventually
moved (I don't have the exact date of her relocation)...
From: Steven Bachenheimer <bachlab@med.unc.edu>
Sent: Saturday, August 18, 2012 8:34 PM
I think the simplest explanation is that they weren't enumerated.
I have the exact addresses of my parents, grandparents, an uncle and
aunt, and a great uncle and aunt in the Hyde Park section of Chicago, at
the time of the 1940 Census. They are not indexed and nowhere to be seen
in the census sheets >from their corresponding EDs. At the same time, other
close relatives in the same or adjacent EDs were enumerated. If my
relatives weren't home when the enumerator visited, even on repeated
attempts, they were not counted.


Lisa Lepore <llepore@...>
 

Try the search tools at stevemorse.org and locate the the census
enumeration district, then read through all the pages until you find
their address. If you can't find the street, or their street number
you will know they were skipped by the enumerator.

If you haven't used this method before, start here
http://stevemorse.org/census/quiz.php

According to a message posted here several months ago, the 1940 census was
undercounted by about 7.5 million people.

It wouldn't surprise me that there are many transcription errors as well
but using the method above, you will know for sure if their street was
included and they were missed, or if there was a transcription error.

Lisa Lepore
llepore@comcast.net
Mendon, MA

-----Original Message-----
From: Debbie Skolnik [mailto:debskolnik@yahoo.com]
Sent: Sunday, August 19, 2012 4:46 PM

I have not been able to find my grandparents, Tillie and Jacob Gerber, in
Chicago in the 1940 census, despite trying every combination of misspelling
I can think of (and using all different types of wild card combinations).

Nor can I find my mother, Rose Gerber (born 1918), who probably was still
living with them in Chicago, or in Washington, DC, where she eventually
moved (I don't have the exact date of her relocation).

My mother's brother, Norton Gerber (born 1915), is also not to be found
anywhere, in Chicago, or any other place...


A. E. Jordan
 

wernerh@snet.net writes:
There are definitely problems with the indexed 1940 Census. When this
census first became available, without the index, I was able to find me and my
parents,living with another family in Hartford, CT, when I searched the index by
street address. Now that the index is available, neither my parents and I, nor
our host family appear to be listed.



I think I maybe saying what everyone else is experiencing but the spelling
and transcription errors on one of the well known commercial sites are
massive. A lot of my family was in New Jersey so I only recently got the
index -- poor New Jersey was at the end of the effort for some reason.

I have had a massive amount of trouble finding people by just using the
spelling of their last names. I have found simple typing errors like Jordan
becoming Ordan, found names carried >from the family above on the page, etc.
etc. etc. I chalk it up to the massive effort to produce the index
quickly and hope they will go back and perfect the index over time. In the
meantime I am adding lots of comments to that site and I hope you are too when
you find the errors.

It can take some time but if you have the addresses check them as well.
But even then I found gaps, skips, etc.

My favorite so far is a family of funeral directors who is simply missing.
They appear to have lived over the funeral home so my guess is the
enumerator felt no one lived there or possibly just did not want to enter a
funeral home.

Allan Jordan


Diane Jacobs
 

I remember with the 1930 US Census the index had many problems and
Then they went back over the entire thing and made correction. I hope
They will do this for the 1940. So, it certainly would be advisable to
Wait six months and try again.

Diane Jacobs
Somerset, NJ


snip..
I have had a massive amount of trouble finding people by just using the
spelling of their last names. I have found simple typing errors like Jordan
becoming Ordan,
snip...