SNGF: 1940 Census Hunt

Randy set out an Easter Egg (or Ancestor) hunt for us.  Pick an ancestor and find them in the 1940 census using Steve Morse’s address locating utility.

I’ve already been using the utility.  I’ve been through 6 or 8 different enumeration district in Hawaii and California.  It really pays when your people stick to the same communities for 40-50 years.

I decided to pick someone more difficult to locate at any time:  Harry Kenneth Jackson.  He was my great grandfather and a regular Houdini.  I never did find him in the 1930 census.  Beyond a couple earlier census records, city directories, and an obituary, Harry didn’t leave much else behind.

I suspect there were some factors to his invisibility.  His daughter told me Harry was refused US citizenship.  So, I have to assume he was in the US illegally.  He did marry a US citizen (my great grandmother) but they divorced around 1928, a very messy divorce where he tried to burn the family home down.  Arson does get between family members.  As far as I know, their son was the only one who kept contact with Harry after that point (the son was on the outs too, but that’s a story for another day).

So off I went to find Harry on Shafter Avenue in Oakland, CA.  I located the possible EDs 61-3 and 61-4.  Shafter is very long so even with the cross streets I couldn’t narrow it down to just one.  I started with 61-4 but Shafter only appeared 3 times.  61-3 was closer to what I wanted.  I found Shafter several times, but it jumped from the 4000s over the other end of 5000.

Since the numbers went from high to low, I decided to check out 61-2 (though it was not listed in the search results from the utility).  Again, I found entries for Shafter.  Harry lived at 5102.  I started to see low 5000s.  I got closer and closer and…it jumped right over Harry’s house number!  There are 5100, 5101, 5103, 5104…No 5102.  I checked names just in case the number was written wrong.

I will wait until the indexes are available.  It’s possible Harry moved between the time the city directory was written and the census was taken.  It’s possible I have the wrong house number.

Once again, Harry Kenneth Jackson has foiled me!

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