Friday, March 30, 2012

1940 US Census - Who I am looking for ...

Photo courtesy the NARA website.
I have been busy the last week getting ready for the release of the 1940 US Census.  Here is the list of direct ancestors that I plan to look for starting April 2, 2012.

Lucky for me, the majority of my family was living in Harbor Beach, Huron, Michigan ... a small city with a population of just under 2200 within the city limits in 1940.

My maternal grandparents, Fred Aaron Arntz and Elsie Marie (Roberts) Arntz were married with one child and I believe living on Bartlett Street in Harbor Beach.  Living nearby Fred and Elsie were Fred's parents, William Edward Arntz (1882-1943) and Betsy Lurene (French) Arntz (1882-1948), as well as Elsie's parents Alfred C Roberts (1881-1946) and Mabel Ellen (Ogle) Roberts (1884-1958).

My paternal grandparents, Emerson Harley Wood and Ruth M (Volz) Wood were married with one child and I believe living on First or Second Avenue in Harbor Beach.  Living nearby Emerson and Ruth were Em's parents Robert Harold Wood (1893-1961) and Lottie Belle (Minard) Wood (1893-1977). 

Ruth's family came from the Village of Minden, in Sanilac County, Michigan ... which was an even smaller community.  Ruth's parents were William Charles Volz (1881-1966) and Jennie Violet (Clark) Volz (1886-1948).  The Volz family still runs a dairy farm just outside of Minden, and at one time I believe the owned the IGA grocery store in town.

But I think the most fun relatives to search for will be my two oldest living family members.  I had two great great grandmothers still living on April 1, 1940, Elizabeth (Binder) Volz who was born in 1853 and Caroline Elizabeth (Sterling) Wood who was born in 1868.

And of course I can't forget to look for my "bonus" (aka step) grandfather, B. Blake Soule (1915-1995).  Blake and Elsie were married in 1973, and I was fortunate to spend time at their home in Ubly during several summer vacation trips to Michigan when I was young.  In 1940 Blake was married to Olive Pearl Stoken and living somewhere in either Sanilac or Huron county.  I don't believe I ever met her or her children but I know they had a couple children, so this part of their story will be new to me.  :) B. Blake Soule was a retired Huron County Magistrate and I remember he liked to listen to the police scanner.  I thought that was really cool. :)

If you are interested in finding out how to access the 1940 US Census for your family, be sure to visit Stephen Morse's One Step website at  Don't let the word "quiz" confuse you, the website functions more like a tutorial helping you narrow down which "tool" to use to find the enumeration district your family is likely to be found in.

If you are researching Harbor Beach, Huron, Michigan you will want to start from this One Step page ...

If you are researching in the Village of Minden City, Sanilac, Michigan you can start from this One Step page ...

I can't believe we are down to three days. :)  I'm ready, are you???

Love & Aloha,
~Cuzn Amy

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