Tuesday, April 3, 2012

1940 census: the first find

Well well well... I found great-grandma Johanna Pavlik Micutka Luzenia AND she landed on the lucky line! So this is just a quick post of what I saw; I haven't even examined every column and thoroughly analyzed the family info yet.

Andy, Johanna, and Mary are found living on Warren Road in Middlebury Township, Shiawassee County, Michigan. I knew they'd been living in Middlebury Township before and after 1940, so it was a safe bet they'd still be there. They owned their home (ok, gonna check for deeds next trip back to Michigan!), it's a farm, and it's valued at "900" and that's in line with the neighbors' home/farm values.

1940 U.S. census, Shiawassee County, Michigan, population schedule, Middlebury Township, page 9B, ED 78-12, household number 187, line 54, Andrew Luzenia; digital image, Archives.gov (http://1940census.archives.gov/ : accessed 3 April 2012); citing NARA microfilm publication T627, roll 1820.

Johanna was the informant for the family information. I'm rather surprised at the accurate spellings of the surnames; I wasn't so sure that she was literate. Mary's surname is especially interesting. While I know that it's supposed to be Pavela, the only place it's spelled that way is on her baptismal record. It's misspelled as Pavelia on her New York birth certificate, and that misspelling followed her to the end of her life. (How do I know that the baptismal record is correct and the birth certificate is wrong, and not the other way around? Because I recognized her father on the baptismal record by his unusual first name--he was from the same village as the Micutkas, and was himself a Micutka descendant, and his surname was most definitely Pavela.) Did Johanna pull out her daughter's birth certificate or other document, or did she know how to spell the family names?

Johanna sometimes named herself Annie or Janie in other documents, as she did here. Johanna was born in late 1870, Andy in late 1883, and Mary in late 1908, so the reported ages are pretty close. Relationships and places of birth are accurate--really, great-granny, I'm impressed, you haven't always been so careful with little things like facts in the past!

Levels of education are minimal--just a few years of formal schooling for Johanna and Andy; well, that argues for Johanna being able to spell names at least. Mary was mentally retarded to some degree and had no education.

The family was living in the same house as in 1935.  I should look for deeds before that date, then.

Andy apparently had taken out "first papers" for naturalization. I've looked for them rather half-heartedly in the past, not sure if he had ever pursued citizenship. Now I know to get serious about searching. He was a farmer, worked 60 hours in the last week of March 1940 and 52 weeks in the 1939. He didn't earn wages in 1939, but did receive income of $50 or more from sources other than money wages. Lastly, he's number 100 on the farm schedule, so now I have to find out if the farm schedules are available.

Johanna's basic information shows that she was still an alien, and that she didn't earn work for pay.

Her supplemental information is, alas, about what I expected. Her parents were both born in Czechoslovakia (which was what it was called in 1940, not in 1870 when Johanna was born).

Married more than once, first time at age 18 (that's right--in January 1889); but what's the number in line 50, for "number of children ever born"? I'm going to have to wait for clearer images, plus compare the enumerator's handwriting in other entries. 

So, my homework will be to look for a deed for property out on Warren Road in Middlebury Township, probably purchased before 1935 and sold in the mid- to late-1940s. And if Andy still owned the land when he died (Johanna predeceased  him), there might be a probate file. I need to check for naturalization records again; first stop (online or in person) would be the county courthouse. I should also eventually send for the Alien Registration forms that both Andy and Johanna would have had to fill out in 1940. I've been lazy about noting whether farm schedules for the 1940 census survived and are available, so it's time to find out.

Back to searching; I still need to find George and Valeria.

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