My 1940 Cast of Characters

I love this photo - it reminds me of my "Ohio Farmers".
Taking a moment to make a public notice of those family members I will be looking up in the 1940 Census when it's released on April 2 (a mere 23 days away, but who's counting?)

Who am I kidding?  I'M COUNTING!!

I'm counting down the next 23 days as if it were an impending birthday - like my own (which by the way is 157 days away and it will be, oddly enough, the big 4-0)

I don't know those who came before me, nor do you probably care.  BUT, if I take the time to make note of these loved ones here, it serves a two-fold purpose.  First of all, if I happen to lose the sheet of paper where I have written down the specific names that I will be looking for, well now I have a back-up list.  Second (and this is the important one), IF one of my fellow genealogy peers has extra time on their hands and wants to search for a name or two....well here they are.  Please.  Feel free to grab a name and start searching. :)

I have one set of grandparents who were already married by 1940 and had 3 children at that time that will be listed with them.  I think these are the ones I'm most excited to see, and will probably be the easiest to locate. I remember hearing the story that they lived with his parents when they were first married, and I  know where the homestead was where they lived and raised their family for a number of years.  So Jackson Township in Paulding County, Ohio is where I will look first and am quite certain that's where they will be.

There's also grandpa's parents, Charles & Clara Parrish.  Again, another fairly easy locate since 1910, 1920, and 1930 they were in the same township and county, and great-grandpa passed away there as well in 1944.  It's almost a gimmee.  Great-great grandma, Melissa Shisler Parrish was still alive and well in 1940, and was last living with her son, Joshua Parrish in Paulding County, Ohio - the same township as the other Parrish's.

On the other side of my maternal line, Nay and Goldie Thrasher, located in near-by Brown Township, Paulding County in 1930.  That's my first obvious stop in my search for them in 1940.   Considering that my aunt pointed out to me the land where she remembered her grandparents living when she was a young girl, and that was the same area.  It's a safe assumption to start there for grandpa and even his parents, Wesley and Martha Thrasher who lived a country mile away.

Those are the easy ones.  I've often gotten frustrated at my "Ohio Farmer Ancestors"...each generation I'm able to dig a little further back, always only to find that once again, they were farmers.  With the release of 1940 census images looming ahead of me in only a few weeks, I'm suddenly very grateful for the roots my Ohio Farmer Ancestors put down for their families.

Now...about my paternal side.  It might be slightly trickier with a few of them.  My grandparents (all 4 of them, as a divorce and remarriage blessed me with an extra grandfather and grandmother) were a bit more...complex.

Grandpa was in Williams County, Ohio in 1930 and I'll definately start there in my search for him, but his parents divorced sometime after then and I'm unsure when.  In a perfect world, they will still be married in 1940 and living in the same area, but I'm just not feeling very certain that I'll be that lucky.  In 1942, his father, Homer A. Hulbert was living in Fulton County, Indiana and gave the name of another son as his "next living relative".  So where was his (probably) ex-wife Helen?  The address on her letters to our soldier boy are Ft. Wayne, Indiana.  Until I find another clue leading me elsewhere, I guess that's where I'll go.

Grandma (our soldier's sweetheart) was in Sugar Creek Twp., Clinton County, Indiana in 1930 with her mother who, in 1940, would now be married to her 2nd husband since February.  Other than going back to look in Sugar Creek Twp., I will also be checking the small town of Converse, Indiana which is where grandma was living with her mother and step-father (Zettie & Vaughn Lane) in 1944 prior to getting married.

My great-great grandparents, Herman and Sarah (Rentfrow) Allen didn't make things easy for anyone who was trying to keep track of them.  For whatever reason they didn't spend a lot of time living together as man and wife.  In fact, prior census records show their son living with Herman, while Sarah had the girls living with her.  I don't know why.  I wish I did.  Was it another divorce in the family?  Herman is in Edgewood, Effingham County Illinois in 1942, and was listed as married (although living alone) in Mason, Illinois in 1930.  Sarah shows up in Bement, Piatt County, Illinois - and her marital status, although difficult to read as it was written and rewritten over, appears to me to be "divorced".  Perhaps a look into a possible divorce record is in order for a future research project.

Harrison and MaryAnn Bingle might suprise me by being easier to find.  My great-great grandparents hung around the Cleves, Ohio area most of their lives.  Whitewater Township, Hamilton County, Ohio will be my first stop in my search for this generation of ancestors.

Finally, Elizabeth Fulton Peak Mason, another great-great grandparent, whom I don't believe passed away until after 1950.  She will be a challenge to locate as I found her to have remarried after her husband's death, Mr. Nathaniel Mason.  She had roots in Indiana growing up, both of her husbands were from Kentucky, and they spent some time living in Ohio.  I do believe that her 2nd husband passed away in Cleves, Ohio in 1945 so I'm hoping that they were spending their latter years there and she remained there after his death.

Now, if you've followed along this far AND managed to stay with me, then you're obviously interested!!  May I suggest that you head on over to the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project and sign on to help index the 1940 images when they're released on April 2nd.  Come know you want to...and think of all the time you'll be helping to save me from flipping from one village and county to the next in a desperate search!!  :D


Michael Pierce said…
Nice article, Candy, and I really like your writing style.

I'm creating a similar gathering of ancestors that I'm hoping to find in the 1940 census. Interestingly, I believe most of my family straddled the age of folks that went to war shortly after the census. They were either too old or, like my parents, too young. I take it, from your mention of the soldier's sweetheart, that's not the case for you.

Thanks for the nice article and good luck with your 1940 census search!