About Pam Reid

Pamela Brown Reid - amateur genealogist and research enthusiast. I first began working on family history back in the mid-1990s when my mother, Jeanne Thorne BROWN brought out a VERY old family Bible that had been given to her by her Great Aunt, Myrtle Foster REID. The Bible listed birth dates for the family of William FOSTER, his wife Sarah, and their children. We knew we were descended from one of those children, but did not know which one. So began my family history research passion. It turned out that were descended through two of the children, Moses FOSTER and his sister Delilah. Moses married Mary HURT and they gave birth to my g-g-grandfather, Gabriel Foster. Delilah married Burrell WINGO and was grandmother to Susan WINGO, who married Gabriel FOSTER.

1940 First Indexer Award

The displayer of this badge certifies that he or she is a proud indexer of the 1940 Census.

1. Name: Pam Reid

2. First Indexed: April 2, 2012

3. First Batch: Big Creek Precinct, Baker County, Oregon

4. Favorite experience: The Deland, Volusia County, Florida batches enumerated by Ida M. Mott, neat and beautiful handwriting, meticulous attention to detail. I miss Ida.

5. I learned about this award from the blog of: The Ancestry Insider (http://ancestryinsider.blogspot.com/2012/04/1940-first-indexer-award.html)

If you want to help index, visit http://indexing.familysearch.org.

 


Award Rules

To earn this award you must index or arbitrate at least one batch of the 1940 Census. Once you have submitted a batch:

1. Copy this entire post, including the rules.
2. Replace the answers to the questions.
3. If you wish, replace the badge with a different size or background. Pick from the choices at http://ancestryinsider.blogspot.com/2012/04/1940-census-award-badges.html
3. Post on your blog.
4. Display the award with pride alongside other awards and badges on your site.


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A Titanic Survivor and Six Degrees of Separation

The occupants of the boat left to right: A W Petherick, Alfred Hedley Hines,, Hedley Francis Hines, Robert Victor Hines, Les Hussey, and Orlando Jewell with his arm on the tiller. Hedley Francis Hines is the son of Captain Hedley Samuel Hines and Orlando Jewell is the son of John Jewell and brother of Archie Jewell. The two Hines boys are grandsons of Captain Hedley Samuel Hines.

Six degrees of separation is the theory that anyone on the planet can be connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than five intermediaries – this story involves people who were much closer than the theory’s five intermediaries. It involves my husband’s great-grandfather and the son of his ship’s mate on the Ant – a ship involved in an accident at sea that almost killed both great-grandfather Hines AND his mate, John Jewell.

On April 10th 1912 the Titanic sailed from Southampton with 2,200 passengers and crew. On April 14, 1912, the Titanic collided with an iceberg and sank. 1500 people died and 700 survived. Titanic collided with the iceberg at about 11.40 pm on 14th April. She sank below the water at 2.20 am the next morning. A ship which had taken three years to fully construct was sunk in less than three hours.1

The 100th anniversary of this maritime disaster is a proper time to share a family story that includes a “six degrees of separation” relationship to a Titanic survivor.

My husband’s maternal grandmother, Bessie Hines, immigrated to America from Bude, Cornwall in 1913. Bessie Hines was the daughter of Hedley Samuel Hines, a ship captain in Bude, Cornwall. Hedley Hines captained freighters that hauled coal from South Wales as well as other merchandise. This is the story of one of his voyages. The incident described happened during the Great Blizzard of 1891.

The Great Blizzard of March 1891 affected many parts of Great Britain, particularly the South West. The strong gales and heavy snowfall hit Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Herefordshire and Kent. London was also hit by the strong winds and snowfalls. The devastation left behind included uprooted trees and many fences and roofs were blown away. Ships on the seas were stranded on rocks and ran aground due to lack of visibility. The storms were so ferocious that much of Cornwall and Devon was cut off from the rest of Britain for four days between 9th and 13th March, 1891. In this time, over 200 people were killed as well as 6,000 animals.2

“Mr. Jewell sailed out of Bude in various vessels belonging to that Port. He had extraordinary recollections of his experiences and dangers which he encountered when at sea during the great blizzard of 1891. At this time he was mate of the 95-ton Ketch Ant, owned by the late Mr. H. Stapleton, of Bude, and was on a voyage from Saundersfoot (S. Wales), to Ipswich, loaded with a cargo of coal. The vessel was blown miles out of her course, and was eventually sighted on March 14, after drifting for ten days, by Capt. Burton of the Astrea in the Bay of Biscay.

A record of the event contained in The Blizzard of the West, March 1891, printed at Devonport, says: ‘Capt. Burton sighted the Ant some miles off with the sails down and flying a signal of distress. Capt. Burton sent alongside a boat’s crew, who found the Captain, H. Hines, and a sailor named Jewell, wrapped in the mainsail in a shocking state and barely able to speak. Their hands and legs were so swollen from frostbite and exposure, that they could not handle anything or lift themselves up to stand. After administering brandy and medicine they recovered sufficiently to inform their rescuers that the Ant was 10 days out from Saundersfoot and that four days before a lad named Stapleton (nephew of the owner), had died from exposure and his body had been thrown overboard. The Ketch Ant was taken into Plymouth in a disabled condition.”3

Capt. H. Hines was my husband’s great-grandfather, Hedley Hines. The “sailor named Jewell” was John Jewell, also of Bude, Cornwall. John Jewell’s youngest son was a man named Archie Jewell. Archie Jewell survived the Titanic disaster.

Archie signed on to Titanic as one of the 6 lookout men. On the night of 14 April 1912 he had worked the 8pm to 10pm shift and was in his berth when the ship struck the iceberg at 11.40pm (had the ship not struck the iceberg his next watch period would have been 2am to 4am). He was one of the first to leave the ship in lifeboat 7 at 12.45pm. It left from the starboard side with 28 people on board, the capacity was 65 (Writer’s Note – stop and consider this fact for a moment – the lifeboat had 26 people on board, yet had the capacity to have saved 65 lives).4

Archie’s lifeboat made it to the Carpathia safely. Both Archie and his father survived deadly maritime disasters. Sadly, Archie died 17th April, 1917, in WWI when the his ship was hit by a torpedo from a German submarine in the English Channel.5

There is our family’s “Six Degrees of Separation Story.” John’s great-grandfather survived a marine disaster with the father of a man who would later become a survivor of the Titanic disaster.

NOTE: In researching this story, I learned of a seaman who did indeed have incredible luck. His name was John Priest. John Priest was a hand on the Titanic and survived. He later survived the sinking of the Britannica  (Archie Jewell’s family believes that Archie was a survivor of that as well) and was also a survivor of the same torpedoed ship in WWI on which Archie Jewell died.

SOURCES

1. “Titanic FAQs.” Titanic Info. Web. 14 Apr. 2012. <http://www.the-titanic.com/Titanic-FAQs.aspx&gt;.

2.  “Plymouth Local History.” : The Great Blizzard of March 1891. Web. 14 Apr. 2012. <http://plymouthlocalhistory.blogspot.com/2010/01/great-blizzard-of-march-1891.html&gt;.

3. “AT SEA IN A BLIZZARD: Bude Seaman Found Wrapped In The Mainsail.” Encyclopedia Titanica. Web. 14 Apr. 2012. .From an article published in the Cornwall & Devon Post, Friday 24 January 1936.

4. “RMS Titanic Facts and History: Titanic Passenger and Crew Biography…” Encyclopedia Titanica. Web. 14 Apr. 2012. <http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/&gt;.

5. Ibid, Titanic Passenger and Crew Biography.

The Kimbrell Family in 1940

The information below was extracted from the 1940 United Census for the KIMBRELL family, living in the mill village of Lyman, South Carolina. Lois Brown Kimbrell was my father’s sister. I never knew her as she died when I was about 18 months old. There are some old photos of me with her and she was very beautiful. My father adored her and I don’t think he ever really got over her death.

Source: 1940 US Census, Spartanburg County, South Carolina, population schedule Lyman, Beechsprings Township, Enumeration District (ED) 42-13B . sheet number 116B., Line numbers 46-50 , Tyson Kimbrell; NARA digital images; http://1940census.archives.gove/ (accessed April 11, 2012)

From this image we learn the following about the Kimbrell Family.

On April 26, 1940, Lois Kimbrell provided the following information to the census taker, based on things as they were 25 days before, on April 1, 1940.

The KIMBRELL family was living at 12 Little Street, Lyman, South Carolina. They rented their home for $5 a month1 and had lived at this address in 1935 as well. All of the family members are white.

Tyson Kimbrell (the Head of House) was 28 years old on his last birthday. He was born in Georgia and completed 5 years of school. We learn that Tyson is a calender operator in the calender room2 of a textile mill. He worked 39 hours during the week of March 24-March 30, 1940. Tyson worked at the textile mill 51 weeks in 1939, earning $765 during the year for his work.

Lois Kimbrell, wife of Tyson, turned 25 on her last birthday. She  completed 5 years of school. Lois was born in South Carolina and is engaged in home housework. As she earned no wages, the housework must have been in her own home.

The other household members, children of Tyson and Lois Kimbrell are:

Loretta Kimbrell,  who turned 8 on his her birthday. Loretta was born in South Carolina and is a student in 1940. She has completed 2 years of school

A son, James E., turned 5 on his last birthday. He was also born in South Carolina and is not yet in school.

The youngest child, a daughter, Betty Ruth, turned 3 years old on her last birthday. Betty Ruth was born in South Carolina and is not yet in school.

Footnotes:

1 – The houses in a mill village were owned by the mill and rented to the mill worker’s families for a very nominal monthly rent.

2 – A calender worker operated a machine which pressed using two large rollers (calenders) used to press and finish fabric.

NOTE:  The census should be used as a starting point. The information is given orally by a household member to the census taker. The household member might not remember correctly, the census taker might not hear correctly. Always confirm vital information in another source. Loretta Kimbrell was born 27 Aug 1931, so would have been 9 years old when this census was taken.

The photo of the house in the collage is not the actual house that the Kimbrells lived in. It is a very similar house located on Little Street.

Template for this extraction is based on the work of Spencer Fields, who is working towards a degree in Genealogy from Brigham Young University.

1940 South Carolina Mill Village Residents

This information is an extraction from the 1940 United Census for my father’s BROWN family, living in the mill village of Lyman, South Carolina.

Source: 1940 US Census, Spartanburg County, South Carolina, population schedule Lyman, Beechsprings Township, Enumeration District (ED) 42-13B . sheet number 17A., Line numbers 31-34, James M Brown; NARA digital images; http://1940census.archives.gove/ (accessed April 3, 2012)

From this image we learn the following about the BROWN Family.

On April 26, 1940, Retha Brown provided the following information to the census taker, based on things as they were 25 days before, on April 1, 1940.

The BROWN family was living at 11 Upland Street, Lyman, South Carolina. They rented their home for $8 a month1 and had lived at this address in 1935 as well. All of the family members are white.

James M Brown (the Head of House) was 46 years old on his last birthday. He was born in South Carolina and completed 6 years of school. We learn that James operates a hooker in the folding room of a textile mill2. He worked 32 hours during the week of March 24-March 30, 1940. James worked at the textile mill 49 weeks in 1939, earning $1236 during the year for his work.

Retha Brown, wife of James M, turned 43 on her last birthday. She  completed 1 year of high school. Retha was born in South Carolina and is also employed at the textile mill. Her job is to examine remnants in the folding room. Retha worked 32 hours during the week of March 24-March 30, 1940. She worked 52 weeks at the mill in 1939, earning $775 in wages for the year.

The other household members, children of James M and Retha are:

A single son, Marvin Brown, Jr.,  turned 19 on his last birthday. He completed 3 years of high school and is employed invoicing in the folding room at a textile mill. Marvin worked at this occupation 32 hours during the week of March 24-March 30, 1940 and worked 52 weeks during 1939, earning $720 in wages for the year.

A daughter, Gladys Brown, turned 17 on her last birthday. She was also born in South Carolina and is a student in 1939. She has completed 3 years of high school.

NOTE:  The census should be used as a starting point. The information is given orally by a household member to the census taker. The household member might not remember correctly, the census taker might not hear correctly. Always confirm vital information in another source. For example, Retha Jones Brown was born 27 Mar 1896, so would have turned 44 almost a month before she gave this information to the census taker.  She didn’t forget that her daughter, Gladys, had a birthday in March, but she must have forgotten her own.

1,  Back then, the mills owned the houses and rented them out to employees for a small rental fee.
2.  The hooker is the machine that prepares the cloth for folding into parcels.

Template for this extraction is based on the work of Spencer Fields, who is working towards a degree in Genealogy from Brigham Young University.

South Carolina Thornes in the 1940 Census

The Thorne Family in the 1940s

The information  below was extracted from the 1940 Census for my mother’s THORNE family.

Source: 1940 US Census, Spartanburg County, South Carolina, population schedule Campobello Township, Enumeration District (ED) 42-26 . sheet number 10A., Line numbers 20-23, Randell Thorne; NARA digital images; http://1940census.archives.gove/ (accessed April 3, 2012)

From this image we learn the following about the THORNE Family.

On April 17, 1940, Charity Thorne provided the following information to the census taker, based on things as they were 16 days before, on April 1, 1940.

The THORNE family was living on a farm in a rural location, at Route 2, Campobello, South Carolina in April of 1940.  They were renting their farm for $5 a month.  They apparently did not live in the same place in 1935, but were living in a rural location in Spartanburg County, South Carolina at that time, location unknown.

Randell Thorne (the Head of House) was 36 years old on his last birthday.  He was born in South Carolina and completed 3 years of high school.1 Randell was employed as a card runner2 in a cotton mill.  During the week of March 24-March 30, 1940, Randell worked 40 hours in the cotton mill. He worked a full 52 weeks at the same occupation during 1939, earning $720.

Charity Thorne, wife of Randell, turned 33 on her last birthday. She was born in South Carolina and completed 8 years of school. Charity engaged in housework during the past year.

The children listed in the household are:

A daughter, Ruby3 Thorne turned 13 on her last birthday. She was also born in South Carolina. She was a student in 1940 and had completed 7 years of school.

William Thorne, was a baby, not yet a year old. He was born in South Carolina.

Footnotes:

1. He probably graduated from high school as high school was generally only three years in South Carolina at the time he would have been in school.

2. A card runner was the worker who ran the carding machine. Carding machines perform a combing operation, aligning the fibres so they will make a strong thread when spun. The process leaves the operator covered in cotton fluff. Seen as a low-status job by others in the industry.

3, My mother, Ruby Jeanne Thorne, despised the name Ruby. She was called Jeanne from the time she was old enough to tell people what to call her. She threatened to haunt me if I had Ruby carved on her headstone. Needless to say, I did not. Her headstone says “Jeanne Thorne Brown.”

NOTE:  The data found on the census records is not always completely accurate. This was information given orally to the census taker by the a household member. Errors were frequently made, particularly on ages and places of birth. Spelling is often incorrect as the census taker would write it down as it sounded to him or her. Examples of errors in this census extraction are as follows. Randell Thorne’s name was spelled incorrectly, it should have been Randall. However, his name wasn’t actually Randall at all, but that is another story entirely. He was born 28 Dec 1901, so would have been 39 when the 1940 Census was taken. William Thorne, my uncle Bill, was just over two weeks old at the time the census was taken. He was born 31 Mar 1940, so JUST made the cut-off for even being enumerated. Think of the census as a starting point and always verify the information in another, primary source.

Template for this extraction is based on the work of Spencer Fields, who is working towards a degree in Genealogy from Brigham Young University.

The Girl Next Door in the 1940 Census.

The information  below was extracted from the 1940 Census for my husband’s ALBERDING family.

Source: 1940 US Census, District of Columbia, population schedule Washington, Enumeration District (ED) 1-378 . sheet number 8A., Line numbers 18-25, Conrad A Alberding; NARA digital images; http://1940census.archives.gove/ (accessed April 3, 2012)

From this image we learn the following about the ALBERDING Family.

On April 19, 1940, Arthur Alberding provided the following information to the census taker, based on things as they were 18 days before, on April 1, 1940.

The ALBERDING family was living at 705 Quincey Street, NW, Washington, District of Columbia. They owned their home, valued at $7000 and had lived at this address in 1935 as well. All of the family members are white.

Conrad A. Alberding (the Head of the House) was 49 years old on his last birthday. Conrad was born in Holland and was a Naturalized Citizen of the United States. He completed 8 years of school. We learn that Conrad is the Manager of the Press Club (Editorial Note: The National Press Club) and his industry code is Liquor Store, so the Club at that time functioned primarily as a bar. He worked 40 hours during the week of March 24-March 30, 1940 and for a full 52 weeks during 1939, earning $4000 for the year.

Conrad was married to Bessie H. Alberding, who turned 45 on her last birthday. Bessie was born in England and was a Naturalized Citizen of the United States. She completed 9 years of school. Bessie engaged in home housework for the week of March 24-March 30, 1940, just as she had in 1939. She earned no salary, so it can be assumed she was keeping house in her own home.

The other household members listed here include the children of Conrad and Bessie Alberding:

Ellen M. Alberding, who turned 24 on her last birthday, was born in Pennsylvania and completed 4 years of high school. She was employed as a Private Secretary at the C & P Telephone Company1 and worked there 39 hours during the week of March 24-March 30, 1940. Ellen was employed in the same job for the full 52 weeks of 1939, earning $1200 for the year.

Annetta Alberding turned 22 on her last birthday. She was born in New York and completed 4 years of high school. Annetta received some college education. She is listed as in school in 1940.

Conrad Alberding, Jr. turned 21 on his last birthday. He was born in New York and completed 4 years of high. Conrad earned $1880 in 1939 as a Clerk at the United States Department of the Treasury. During the week of March 24-March 30, 1940 he worked 39 hours at the same job.

Arthur Alberding, the family member who gave this information to the census taker, turned 17 years old on his last birthday. He was born in the District of Columbia and had completed 3 years of high school. During the week of March 24-March 30, 1940, Arthur was still a student, so was finishing his 4th year of high school when the census was taken.

In addition to the Alberding family, the household included two lodgers, Charles B. Dew and his wife, Estelle. Charles was born in North Carolina, completed 4 years of high school and was a Meat Cutter at a retail grocery. He worked 44 hours during the week of March 24-March 30, 1940 and a full 52 weeks at the same job in 1939, earning $1440 in 1939. Estelle, who turned 27 on her last birthday, was also born in North Carolina. She completed 4 years of high school and was engaged in home housework for both the week of March 24-March 30, 1940 and all of 1939. As she earned no wages, home housework in the Alberding home may have paid some part of their rent. Charles and Estelle Dew were lodgers in the Alberding home in 1935 as well.

Footnotes:

1. Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company

NOTE: Census data is not always accurate. Do not rely on the data given to the census taker, as errors are often made. Verify dates of birth, places of birth, and other vital details. Bessie Hines Alberding was born 18 Sep 1892, so would have been 48 years old when the 1940 census was taken. Ellen Alberding was born 4 Feb 1914, so she would have been 26 years old in April 1940. I have not verified the education of the parents, Conrad and Bessie. The years of high school appear to be correct for the Alberding children as all graduated from high school and several attended some college. Census records are a valuable tool, but are not a substitute for official vital records.

Template for this extraction is based on the work of Spencer Fields, who is working towards a degree in Genealogy from Brigham Young University.

What Can We Learn from the 1940 Census?

The information  below was extracted from the 1940 Census for my husband’s REID family.

Source: 1940 US Census, District of Columbia, population schedule Washington, Enumeration District (ED) 1-378 . sheet number 8A., Line numbers 2-17 , Ernest Reid; NARA digital images; http://1940census.archives.gove/ (accessed April 3, 2012).

From this image we learn the following about the REID Family.

On April 19, 1940, Clara Reid provided the following information to the census taker, based on things as they were 18 days before, on April 1, 1940.

The REID family was living at 703 Quincey Street, NW, Washington, District of Columbia. They owned their home, valued at $7500 and had lived at this address in 1935 as well. All of the family members are white.

Ernest Reid (the Head of House) was 70 years old on his last birthday. He was born in Virginia and completed 8 years of school. We learn that Ernest worked no hours during the week of March 24-March 30, 1940. He did not work in 1939 and received no wages that year. He did receive more than $50 from sources other than money wages or salary in 1939.  Given his age, it is assumed that he retired from employment before 1939. He was unable to work, according to the information provided to the census taker.

Clara Reid, wife of Ernest, turned 65 on her last birthday. She also completed 8 years of school. Clara was born in the District of Columbia. She was unable to work in 1939. Clara also received more than $50 from sources other than money wages or salary in 1939.

The other household members listed here include:

A married son, William, who turned 34 on his last birthday. William was born in the District of Columbia, completed 4 years of high school and was employed as a meat cutter in the Retail Grocery industry. He worked at this occupation 48 hours during the week of March 24-March 30, 1940 and worked 52 weeks during 1939, earning $1200 wages for the year.

William’s wife, Ethel, turned 30 on her last birthday. She was born in New York and completed 4 years of high school.  Ethel was engaged in home housework in 1939 as well as for the week of March 24-March 30, 1940.

A single son, Andrew, who turned 31 on his last birthday is in the household. Andrew was born in the District of Columbia and completed 4 years of high school. He was a meat cutter in the Retail Grocery industry and worked 24 hours during the week of March 24-March 30, 1940. Andrew worked as a meat cutter in 1939, working 52 full weeks, earning $1100. for the year.

Another single son, Warren, turned 20 on his last birthday. He was born in the District of Columbia and competed 10th grade.  Clara gave information to the census taker that Warren did not work in 1939 but attended school and was in school during the week of March 24-March 30, 1940.

William Reid and his wife, Ethel, lived in at this address in 1935. With them in their grandparents household were 5 grandchildren of Ernest and Clara – children of William and Ethel. Louise, 17 years old on her last birthday, completed 10th grade and attended school in the last month; Joseph T., 15 on his last birthday, completed 9th grade and attended school in the last month; Richland turned 11 years old on his last birthday, completed 4th grade and attended school in the last month; Bryan turned 8 years old on his last birthday, completed 2nd grade and attended school in the last month; Dennis turned 2 years old on his last birthday. All of William and Ethel’s children were born in the District of Columbia.

NOTE:  Census data is not always accurate and for the purpose of extracting the data from the 1940 Census, I made no corrections. Do not rely on the data given to the census taker, as it is sometimes not correct. For example, William and Andrew Reid were born in Fairfax County, Virginia, not in the District of Columbia as stated on the census. Andrew Reid did not complete high school – he had only a 6th grade education according to what he always told my husband, his son. Clara apparently overstated the level of eduction of her children. The census is a tool, but digging for additional information is always a good idea.

Template for this extraction is based on the work of Spencer Fields, who is working towards  a degree in Genealogy from Brigham Young University.

The 1940 Census is ONLINE and I Was Lucky Today!

It’s HERE!!!  All of the waiting is over – well, not really, unless you are lucky enough to know where to look.

I was lucky in the wee hours of the morning since I happened to be online when Ancestry.com began uploading the images and the District of Columbia was one of the first areas to go online. I was lucky because I knew where my husband’s Alberdings lived in 1940 and they had not relocated since the 1930 Census was taken. I was lucky because I could find the enumeration district that corresponded to the district in the 1930 Census, thanks to Stephen P. Morse, PhD and Joel D. Weintraub, PhD. Using their Unified 1940 Census ED Finder made that simple. A big thanks to these men and the work they did to make the wonderful tool available.

I found my husband’s Alberding grandparents, with his mother, Ellen, still living at home. Next door, I found his Reid grandparents, with his father, Andrew, still living at home. Andrew Reid married the girl next door, Ellen Alberding, two months after the 1940 Census was taken, on 8 Jun 1940.

The Reid family home was full of people – nine in all – Grandfather Ernest Reid, Grandmother Clara, father Andrew, his brother, William (along with William’s wife and five children). The only wage earners in 1939 to support that large household were Andrew and William and neither earned a lot, so I can imagine things were pretty hard for them.

For grandfather Conrad Alberding, I find a slightly different story. Conrad is manager of the National Press Club, earned a nice salary in 1939. My husband’s mother, Ellen, had a good job too and contributed nicely to the family’s income. One of her brother’s was also a healthy wage earner. Additionally, the Alberdings had a married couple lodging with them. As they were not family, it can presumed they paid rent for their rooms. The Alberdings were much more comfortable financially than were the Reids.

Yes, I am very excited about all that can be learned from examining these census pages. It isn’t going to be easy at first. There is not yet an index, you must know where to look for those you are interested in finding. The servers are over loaded today, making it difficult to  see the records even you have done your homework and know where to look. Luck helps a lot too.  We will have to be patient as this will all settle down. If you are very patient, you can wait for the indexes to be completed, one state at a time. If you aren’t that patient, try to figure out where your relatives were in 1940. If they didn’t relocate from their home in the 1930 census, the link I mentioned above will help you find the corresponding enumeration district for the 1940 Census. It is like a bit like an archeological dig – lots of preparation will help get you to the right enumeration district and you can page through until you find the correct street. Fair warning, it will also take some luck! Me. I was lucky today!

A Leap of Faith Finally Proven!

I am taking a step away from my ALBERDING research today. Some very exciting new information has surfaced that literally has me dancing a jig in the living room. I mention in my welcome page that what started me on the genealogy journey was a very, very old family Bible. The records in the Bible date back to my 4th Great-Grandparents, William FOSTER and his wife, Sarah. William FOSTER was born 24 May 1768 and Sarah was born 15 Oct 1773. The Bible lists all of their 11 children with their dates of birth.

For almost 20 years, I have tried to prove Sarah’s maiden name. This is a very daunting process in the US since no records ever give a woman’s maiden name once she marries – we are a patriarchal society. I had a piece of evidence that led me to make a leap of faith that her maiden name was JONES. No proof, just a bit of evidence and some information about known relationships.

All of the children, except for one, of William and Sarah FOSTER are listed by first name only, along with their dates of birth. The exception is daughter Malinda Jones FOSTER, born 22 Dec 1808. Malinda was the only one of their children ever refereed to by a first and middle name. In Sarah’s will, she is the only child listed with her full name, Malinda Jones FOSTER. To me, that was evidence that the JONES name was very important to Sarah and that was my little piece of evidence on a maiden name for Sarah.

Family relationships also played a role in my leap of faith. These families were very closely allied in Amelia and Cumberland Counties, Virginia. A good illustration of this is that Mary Ann JONES married first Thomas JAMES. Thomas had a sister named Sarah JAMES. Sarah married Robert FOSTER, brother of my 5th Great-Grandfather, John FOSTER. Mary Ann JAMES married William “Major Billy” FOSTER in Amelia County, Virginia after Thomas’ death. Major Billy was a brother to both John and Robert FOSTER. Based on the fact that these families were so closely allied, my gut feeling has always been that my Sarah FOSTER was a younger sister of Mary Ann Jones James FOSTER. The problem was that no one had any information stating that Mary Ann had a younger sister named Sarah.

The Library of Virginia has started digitizing their Chancery records – these consist of Court actions involving Estates and eventual distribution of property from the Estates. Chancery records were found involving the estate of John JONES of Cumberland County (adjacent to Amelia County)`, Virginia, father of Mary Ann Jones James FOSTER. One of the minor children listed in these records is a Sarah JONES. Based on the information in the records, this Sarah would have been seven years old when John JONES’ will was written in 1780. Thanks to my Bible records, I had Sarah FOSTER’s birthdate and she would have been exactly seven years old in 1780. Sarah JONES would have been fourteen years old at the time the property was divided in 1786 and Sarah FOSTER would also have been fourteen years old in 1786.

I will continue to dig for actual proof that my Sarah FOSTER was born Sarah JONES in Amelia or Cumberland County, Virginia. However, I am now satisfied that Sarah JONES is my 4th Great-Grandmother and that a search of nearly 20 years is over. To me, the evidence now exists to back up my leap of faith made so many years ago.