I’ve learned something about the Footnote.com search function. It’s not very helpful. I either get way too many results or I don’t get what I’m targetting.
One of the ways to get around way too many results is to use the browse function. Click on Original Documents. Click on the database you want to search. When the page for that database comes up, click Browse.
You are now looking the database and can search only this database. You can go further and search only parts of this databese.
Let’s use the 1930 census as an example. When I clicked browse, I get a listing of states. When I click California, I get a list of counties. When I click Alameda, I get a list of locations. This will include cities, townships, and so forth. Clicking on Oakland City, brought up all the Enumeration Districts that are in this series.
I was having trouble with the search function for the 1930 census. I already had the sheets because I had found them from another source previously. But I wanted to link them to my relative pages. By going through the browse process I realized something. The sheets I need aren’t there. I am not sure if they are under a different location. One was from Brooklyn Township in Oakland, Alameda County, California. But Brooklyn Township didn’t exist. I know that the township is under Oakland City. It was more clear that the one I needed in Honolulu was not in the system since the group of enumeration districts was not listed.
It takes a little effort to find what you need, but you can do it. I wish on the regular search screen, you were able to put in the enumeration district and then the sheet number. Then you could by pass searching by name. Sometimes I have the exact sheet number. Going through browse works, but it would be easier having it on the search screen too.
Enumeration district is available, but I couldn’t get it to work since EDs have “-” in them and that is seen as a special character. Removing it pulled up nothing. I’ll figure it out eventually!
One other thing. You can also do a search from the browse screen. Once you’ve gone to the area of a database that you want to concentrate on, you can enter a search (look at the bottom of the box). Sometimes you can go around the system especially if you already know where your people are (or where they should be).
Here are the people I’ve worked on this week:
Also note that I’ve been linking people to each other. Hopefully, by the end of the month I will have all my Great Great Uncles and Aunts in the system and linked together.
One of the strangest discoveries at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Oakland, California was coming across the tombstone of Willie P. Smith. Willie was most likely born as Guilherme Pacheco but some how recorded as Wilhelm Pacheco by a 1900 Census enumerator who was obviously a little confused. He is the third child of Theodoro Pacheco and Maria de Braga.
Willie was born on the 22nd of June 1899, Kilauea, Kauai, Hawaii. He left Kauai with his family ca 1907. The family took up residence in Oakland, Alameda Co., California on the family owned, or so it seemed, E. 25th Street.
Willie came down with influenza in the winter of 1912. He died on the 1st of January 1913 at the age of 13. Just a few months later his father would pass away from Hansen’s Disease (aka leprosy).
The reason I said that this was a strange discovery is that while his parents didn’t have much money, this plot was bought for Willie alone. Years later his youngest brother, Joao, would be buried in the plot. But in 1913, Willie had his own plot. Yet, less than a year later his mother would purchase a larger plot for her husband and herself, and then several young family members would be buried there within two or three years of purchase.
It strikes me as odd for a family with limited financial resources with a father who was clearly dying. Theodoro had been not been working in 1910 and his death certificate shows that he was under going medical treatment. It isn’t as if Maria was unaware that her husband was dying when Willie succumbed to influenza. Why buy the smaller plot for Willie knowing that Theodoro would follow him soon after?
Just one more mystery that the family left behind. They were good for that!
I spent a little time this week trying to connect 1930 census sheets to people in my family tree. It would be a big help if I could find my people. I know they are there. I found them on other websites. The problem is the names are so badly transcribed that even a seasoned pro like me couldn’t find them.
For example, let’s look at the one sheet I found. It’s for the 1930 census, Oakland, E. 25th Street. Let’s look at the errors I found on this one sheet. In each case, I am noting what the name on the sheet really read, not what I know it to be:
Santos, Manuel should have been Santos, Manuel J.
Spirsow, Melvin should have been Spirou, William (his son was Jr., so the William should have been easy)
Madrias, Rose should have been Maderos, Rose
Algeria, Bessie should have been Algrava, Jesse (there were other Jesse’s on the page, so the transcriber had something to compare to)
Algeria, Margie should have been Algrava, Angie
Please don’t think I’m picking on Footnote.com. I’ve done research at ancestry.com as well as other sites. Transcription errors are common. I’m still trying to figure out how one transcriber turned Bonita into Bonavenetti!
I’m pointing it out because these transcription errors make it difficult for a researcher to locate their people. Unless you are like me and know exactly what street everyone lived on, you are going to be stumped.
It makes me wonder if those who undertake these projects have people on hand who are familiar with the naming practices of the locality or the ethnicity? I think anyone familiar with Portuguese naming practices would have known that Bessie wasn’t a good choice for a male.
Once I found a sheet to work with it was very easy to link the person listed to the individual page. Once you highlight a name on the census sheet a screen pops up that directs you to the individual page. Save it and the census sheet is forever linked to that personal searchable page.
Needless to say, I didn’t get very far. It looks like I’m going to have to go through Oakland sheet by sheet until I hit Brooklyn District and then E. 25th Street. I’ll probably start from the sheet I located and then work forward and backward.
Here’s some of the work I did this week: