Saturday, April 9, 2022

1950 US Census Records

The 1950 US census records went online on April 1. It’s not easy finding records. There is a machine OCR index, but most of the census is cursive and OCR technology isn’t great with script. (Some have commented machines can read cursive better than *some* members of Gen Z. Of course, that’s because the computers have been given instruction.) When the index fails, you have to browse the records. Fortunately I already knew the neighborhoods my ancestors should be in, so I have retrieved the records for all of them. I’ll have to wait for human indexing on most other kin. 

Below is the 1950 census record for my maternal grandparents, mother, and aunt. (I have deleted the information for my mother and aunt from the image, as they are still alive.) My grandmother's sister was recorded with them. According to my mother’s recollection, she was still living primarily in Texas, and working as a teacher, but my grandmother was sick (Colon Cancer) and her sister would visit when she could. I’m guessing it was “Spring Break.” The third no in Minnie's line may be wrong. Columns 16 & 17 ask about employment during the past week. However, 18 asks, if they didn't work in the past week, do they still have a job. If my mother’s recollection is accurate, the answer should have been, "yes," and her employment as a teacher should have been recorded.

I'm slightly curious if she got recorded in Texas as well. It probably depends if she usually resided with someone else, like one of her children. If so, they may have mentioned her. If she usually lived alone, then her home may have just been marked "vacant." I will need to wait for Texas records to be better indexed.

A few houses down from my grandparents - Fred and Marjorie Helmkampf. They were good friends of my grandparents, and were mentioned a lot in the letters they wrote back and forth during WW2. My grandmother died in 1951. Fred would die in 1962. In 1965 my grandfather married Marj. I was born 4 years later, and would grow up thinking of her as my grandmother.

Here are my paternal grandparents. My father's info has been removed, but his brother passed away in 1997. 

My grandmother was on one of the "Sample" lines and was asked additional questions.

Both of her parents were born in Russia. (Actually, one was born in Losice, Poland, and the other Volhynia, which is now part of Ukraine.) She completed 12th grade. Being over 30 years old, she didn't have to answer whether or not she attended school in the past two months. She did indicate that in the past year she worked 42 weeks outside of the home. Though she earned no money from it. She probably was referring to volunteer work.

My paternal grandmother's parents, Herman and Annie Feinstein.

Here, it is properly recorded that Annie was born in Poland. It is indicated that in the past week, Herman only worked 24 hours as manager of a laundry.

My paternal grandfather's parents, Barney and Bertha Newmark, barely get recorded. A lodger has all their information recorded. However, my great grandmother doesn't have her name recorded, and all of the other columns are blank. In the notes section, it is stated that a neighbor claimed their census was taken in Miami Beach, Florida. It is recalled that they were simply on vacation, so this is unlikely. I’ll have to wait until Miami records are better indexed. 

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