Writing and Research Goals Coming Together

So excited that my personal goals are overlapping with priorities for the DuPage County Genealogical Society and an active WikiTree Challenge.

I’ve set a personal annual goal of writing and submitting at least one genealogy article a year. Luckily my local society’s bi-annual magazine welcomes content, so I have a natural outlook for the article.

Unfortunately, my latest idea had been slow in coming together. Each time I thought I had a manageable focused topic, it would blow up and need more work.

Recently I came across a WikiTree Challenge that would be an easy way to support the WikiTree community, contribute to the DuPage County Genealogical Society, and meet my personal goal.

The US Black Heritage group started an 1880 Project to create profiles in WikiTree for every Black American that was enumerated in the 1880 Census. I decided to help with the project and focus on creating or checking profiles of Black Americans who were enumerated in DuPage County. I would then write up profiles highlighting the 1880 households and submit those profiles to The Review, DCGS’s magazine.

This article will bring recognition to those Black Americans and support the research efforts of their descendants.

USBH 1880 Project post in G2G: https://www.wikitree.com/g2g/1698629/can-you-help-the-usbh-1880-census-project
DuPage County Genealogical Society: https://www.dcgs.org/

#1950 Census Launch

Quick Links for #1950Census; 12:01 am April 1st / 11:01 pm March 31
The initial name search available on the NARA site – https://1950census.archives.gov/

Help with transcribing names will be important. The initial AI work was a good start, but we need to improve the quality of the transcription.
* andreen should be Andrew
* are should be Avis
* Melliam should be William
* Herbert is correct
* And, another person’s name wasn’t transcribe

To help improve the index, volunteer at FamilySearch’s “Get Involved” – https://www.familysearch.org/getinvolved/

The not quite perfect transcription is also the reason to keep an open mind when searching for your family names. Look for family groups.

Also, the larger counties may take longer to fully load. It was relatively easy to find family in Ogle County (rural), but the Cook County (urban) images were slow to load.

It also may take time for the records to be available at the other sites (Ancestry, FamilySearch, and MyHeritage), but the National Archives search tool works well.

Happy hunting.

Missed Person in 1950 Census

If a person/family not where they should be in the 1950 Census? If their residence had been consistent before and after the 1950 Census, but they aren’t at that location, they may have been missed.

“Several procedures were used to improve the accuracy and completeness of the 1950 census, including: improved enumerator training, providing enumerators with detailed street maps of their assigned areas, publishing “Missed Person” forms in local newspapers, and setting a specific night to conduct a special enumeration of persons in hotels, tourist courts, and other places frequented by transients.”

“1950 Overview,” United States Census Bureau (https://www.census.gov/history/www/through_the_decades/overview/1950.html : accessed 24 March 2022).

The articles in the newspapers did not list the missed persons. Instead, it asked people that were missed to send in their information using a form published in the newspaper. These forms may not be included in the published census information that will be released April 1, 2022.

Example: “Census Bureau Asks Missed Persons To Register Names,” Belleville Daily Advocate, 11 May 1950, p 3, col 1-5; digital images, Newspapers.com (https://www.newspapers.com/clip/98355310/1950-census-missed-persons-form/ : accessed 25 March 2022).

#1950CensusCountdown #1950Census #genealogy #FamilyHistory

1950 Census in Context

When you view a census report for a household, the ages and relationships are interesting in themselves and can help break open a brick wall. Other information on the population schedule and farm schedules can offer context to answer other research questions.

The U.S. Census Bureau summarized the 1950 population data into state profiles. (1) Some of tables summarized information by county and others by urban locations. A few DuPage locations are summarized on Table 4, pp 13-9 to 13-11: Aurora, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, and Wheaton.

In 1950, DuPage County comprised 331 square miles and 154,599. It’s population increased 49.4% from 1940, after increasing 12.5% between 1930 and 1940. DuPage was categorized as 76.1% urban versus rural [Table 5, Page 13-12]

Township, city, and village populations between 1950, 1940, and 1930 are compared. For example, Wheaton’s population was 7258 in 1930, 7389 in 1940, and 11638 in 1950.

The pdf is keyword searchable if you are looking for a specific location. DuPage is printed and searchable as “Du Page.”

In DuPage, the median age was 31.5, 6.7% people were over 65 years, .4% of the county’s was non-white, and the median school years completed were 12.1. 82.7% males were in the labor force, while only 26.9% of females were in the labor force. The median income was $4098. [Table 11, Page 13-57] Knowing this information, we understand where our ancestors fit with the community profile.

By looking at the summary by the country of birth [Table 42a, page 13-165], we can see that the 11390 DuPage county residents born outside the U.S. came from a variety of locations. The top five are:
1. Germany, 2589, 22.7%
2. Canada-Other, 994, 8.7%
3. England and Wales, 906, 8%
4. Sweden, 886, 7.8%
5. Czechoslovakia, 863, 7.6%

In DuPage, 81.2% of adult males were employed. [Table 43, Page 13-169] The top five occupation groups were:
1. Craftsmen, foremen, and kindred workers, 10,888, 24%
2. Professional, technical, and kindred workers, 7,171, 15.8%
3. Managers, officials, and props., exc. farm, 6,926, 15.2%
4. Operatives and kindred workers, 6,434, 14.2%
5. Clerical and kindred workers, 4,279, 9.4%

The top five industry groups were:
1. Manufacturing, 15,423, 34%
2. Construction, 4,114, 9%
3. Other retail trade, 3,761, 8.3%
4. Railroads and railway express service, 2,680, 5.9%
5. Finance, insurance, and real estate, 2,182, 4.8%

The following fictional case studies are used because we don’t have access to the data yet.

Case Study 1
Janet Wood, age 30, black, married, wife to head of household, clerk in a bank.

She is very close to the median age of 31.5, She is 1 of 19.5% of women who were employed, 39.8% of women employed as Clerical and kindred workers, and 7.9% employed in the Finance, insurance, and real estate industry. Clerical occupations are the one group where women were employed at a higher rate than men.

Case Study 2
John Schmidt, age 75, white, married, retired, born in Germany.

He is among the 1.8% of DuPage aged 75 to 84, 1.5% of DuPage age 65 and over and not listed in the labor force, and the 22.7% born in Germany.

1950 Census of Population: Volume 2. Characteristics of the Population,” digital images, United States Census Bureau (https://www.census.gov/library/publications/1953/dec/population-vol-02.html : accessed 5 February 2022), Part 13: Illinois, Number of Inhabitants

#1950CensusCountdown #genealogy #FamilyHistory

Mapping the 1950 Census

Addition: Ancestry added a cool new tool - 1950 Census district finder at https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/district-map/62308. It overlays the old ED map over a current map.

When you think about enumerators visiting most households in person, it is amazing and wonderful that they achieved 99% coverage. (1)

On April 1, 2022, they 1950 Census enumeration sheets become available by NARA and shared through the major genealogy sites like FamilySearch and Ancestry. .

“Several procedures were used to improve the accuracy and completeness of the 1950 census, including: improved enumerator training, providing enumerators with detailed street maps of their assigned areas, publishing “Missed Person” forms in local newspapers, and setting a specific night to conduct a special enumeration of persons in hotels, tourist courts, and other places frequented by transients.” (2)

You can use the maps available through the National Archives to explore an enumeration district. Search for city or county name in the catalog AND 1950. Refine search results by selecting Record Group 29.

1950 ED Map for Ogle County, Illinois

For other tips to see Find Family in the 1950 Census. (3)

(1) “Decennial Census Official Publications: 1950, United States Census Bureau (https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census/decade/decennial-publications.1950.html : accessed 24 March 2022)

(2) “1950 Overview,” United States Census Bureau (https://www.census.gov/history/www/through_the_decades/overview/1950.html : accessed 24 March 2022).

(3) “Find Family in the 1950 Census,” blog post, 5 February 2022, Hayska (https://hayska.org/find-family-in-the-1950-census/ : accessed 25 March 2022)

#1950CensusCountdown #genealogy #FamilyHistory

[Header Image: “Online Promo Image 1: 1950 Census Light BG – 1200 x 628, JPG, 1950 United States Census Shareable Resources, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/en/info/1950-united-states-census-sharable-resources : accessed 25 March 2022).

[Map Image: “1950 Census Enumeration District Maps – Illinois (IL) – Ogle County – Ogle County – ED 71-1 to 50,” digital image, National Archives Catalog (https://catalog.archives.gov/id/12013647 : 25 March 2022); See Record Group 29: Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 – 2007, Series: Enumeration District and Related Maps, 1880 – 1990, File Unit: Enumeration District Maps – Illinois – Ogle County, Item: 1950 Census Enumeration District Maps – Illinois (IL) – Ogle County – Ogle County – ED 71-1 to 50.]

Find Family in the 1950 Census

In less than two months the #1950Census is scheduled to be released on April 1, 2022. Records will be searchable and browsable at Ancestry and FamilySearch. The initial name index will be built by artificial intelligence and will need everyone’s help to check and update index entries. Let’s volunteer and help with updates, https://www.familysearch.org/en/info/us-census/1950-census/.

National Archives Resource Page
The National Archives has launched a 1950 Census webpage on Archives.gov. “This page will help users stay up to date and informed on the latest updates. Some of its features are questions asked on the census, enumerator training videos, finding aids, and published statistical data.”

Learn more about what the National Archives is doing to expand access and involve users during this once-a-decade records release at https://www.archives.gov/research/census/1950.

Prepare Your Own Research
Create a list of ancestors/relatives who would have been living in the United States and should appear on the 1950 Census. Include their age in 1950 and residences closest to 1950.

You can use the maps available through the National Archives to identify the enumeration district at https://www.archives.gov/research/census/1950/finding-aids.

Steve Morse offers a great tutorial and tool to help with your research.
See, Stephen P. Morse and Joel D. Weintraub, “Getting Ready for the 1950 Census: Searching With and Without a Name Index,” SteveMorse.org (https://stevemorse.org/census/1950census.htm : accessed 5 February 2022); and, “Unified 1950 Census ED Finder,” (https://stevemorse.org/census/unified.html : accessed 5 February 2022)

#1950CensusCountdown #1950Census #genealogy #FamilyHistory

Checking Original Documents

It is easy to take the answers presented in online databases and add the information to our trees. But, it is important to check the original documents, when they are available.

Recently, I came across a database entry in a marriage collection on Ancestry that listed a marriage date. I used the source citation to get back to the digital image in FamilySearch and checked the information provided.

The date listed in the database was the date the marriage license was filed for, NOT the date the couple was married.

Additional research for the marriage date was needed, but I at least knew the county to target.

Juneteenth and WikiTree Black_Heritage Project

I’ve had the honor this year of researching a successful African American businessman. While I’m not able to share his name, I can share that I found him, his family, and the other people I “met” along the way to be fascinating.

During the research I found “African-American Business Leaders: A Biographical Dictionary” by John N. Ingham and Lynne B. Feldman published in 1994. This book hits on my combined interests in genealogy and careers. Since I thought it would be beneficial for other genealogists, I’ve started an index of the book that I’ll use to check whether there are matching profiles in WikiTree and whether the book is listed as a source. See my WikiTree US_Black_Heritage page.

I first learned about Juneteenth last year and have been wanted to do something to help tell the stories about african-american ancestors. Toward that end, I’ve joined the US_Black_Heritage project. I will use these biographies to guide my efforts.

“African-American Business Leaders: A Biographical Dictionary” by John N. Ingham and Lynne B. Feldman published in 1994″ Google Books (https://www.google.com/books/edition/African_American_Business_Leaders/TTha3NavN-sC?hl=en : accessed 19 June 2021)

“Juneteenth” HAYSKA blog, 19 June 2020 (https://hayska.org/juneteenth : accessed 19 June 2021)

RootsTech 2020

Not able to travel to the big show, check out the RootsTech 2020 Free Livestream Schedule. I’m looking forward to hearing several great topics on research plans, DNA, and interviewing. What are you looking forward to? #NotAtRootsTech

“All times are listed in mountain standard time. If you need help calculating the time difference to your time zone, visit TheTimeZoneConverter.com.”

If you are attending RootsTech, check out Trace.com Coaches’ Corner in the Expo Hall. “Back by popular demand, the Trace.com Coaches’ Corner in the Expo Hall is the place to go if you’re looking for one-on-one mentoring from an expert genealogist. Bring your biggest roadblocks or dead ends, and receive personalized help.”