With enumeration district 51-1884 in hand, I went searching the 1940 census for my Todds. They were easy to find, showing up on the fourth image. Living with John and Olivia Todd were their son, John A. Todd, Jr. and their daughter Elizabeth Campbell, as well as Elizabeth’s daughter, Honor. I still don’t know who Mr. Campbell was. I had guessed she had been married to a Campbell from her SS-5, but have yet to find him. Great Aunt Bessie later married a Mr. Tilsner.
Emboldened by my success, I sat down to figure out where my Conrads might be in 1940. At first I was not sure, but then I remembered I had two documents that could help: my grandfather’s SS-5 from 1937 and his father’s death certificate from 1942. I knew from my father, born in 1937, that he had lived with his grandfather as a young child. I was in luck. Both listed the address of 2069 Clarence Street.
Off to Google maps, where I found something interesting. The Conrads lived right around the corner from the Todds:
Now this isn’t unusual by any means, but it was interesting that I had not stumbled across this fact until now.
Another family found and I did not even need to figure out the enumeration district. Three images beyond the Todds, were the Conrads: Edward and Susan Conrad (John A. Todd’s son-in-law and daughter), their children Doris and Charles, and Edward’s father, Nicholas.
There are two improvements in my mind in 1940 for the census. One is the legibility factor. While I have still come across some poor handwriting, for the most part the letters are crafted in ways that are decipherable to me. We have finally reached modern style handwriting in full. The second is the x with a circle around it to indicate who answered the questions. This is a big help in determining how much credence we should put in those answers. Neighbor Bob might not be as reliable a source on the Smiths as Mrs. Smith would be.
Still, misinformation appears. My great-grandfather was born in Scotland. This is a well-known fact in the family. I was told this as a young child. Every census prior to this one listed his birthplace as Scotland. Certainly his daughter, who answered the questions according to the notation beside her name, knew this. And yet, this is what was recorded by the census taker:
The census provides loads of information and clues, but is by no means a stopping point in research. Reliability is not its strong suit.
Ages are approximate for most of those listed. I am missing at least three names. Except for the Todds whom I have a good handle on, there may be some listed who passed before 1911, so I may be missing more than three. (edited 16 Jul 2013. I found Lucy’s other three grandchildren (the Coulters) and have added them to the bottom of the list.)
I only count twenty-one children in the photo. I’m not sure that I see any older teens, so Frank and John Todd may be two of the ones missing from the photograph. Or maybe the headline is wrong and there were only twenty-one present.
Perhaps there are some Moore cousins out there who can fill in the blanks.