Monday, April 2, 2012

1940 Census: The Very First Find

Since NARA hasn't worked for me all morning, I switched to Ancestry in the hopes that they would have released a state that one of my ancestors were in. As luck would have it, they had Indiana, which is where my Bollings and Vanzandts lived in 1940.

I struck out on the Bollings. Despite being fairly certain about where they were living, I didn't see them. Maybe I overlooked them in my excitement. Rather than get frustrated, I marked them down for a second look and moved on to the next family on my list, the Vanzandts.

I was hoping to find my great grandfather Clyde Thomas Vanzandt, who was most likely living with his parents William Walter Vanzandt and Martha Elizabeth (Davis) Vanzandt. Instead, I stumbled across Henry Vanzandt, his brother.

Household of Henry Vanzandt; Source: 1940 US Census, Evansville, Vanderburgh County, Indiana, ED 93-3, Page 20B, Line 62; Images, Ancestry (

Henry was living in Knight Township of Evansville, Indiana with his wife Margaret and two boys, Henry and Donald. The family lived at 1311 Henning Avenue. A quick peek at Google maps shows it to be a small house.

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Henry worked as a mechanic in the auto sales and service industry. He had worked 48 hours the week of March 24th through the 30th and had worked 52 weeks in the previous year. For his efforts, he received $600 in pay. Margaret was a homemaker.

When I checked my genealogy software, I was surprised to see that I didn't have a son named Henry for the couple, but I did have one named Donald. After taking a closer look in my software, I realized that the father Henry was actually Walter Henry M Vanzandt, which meant that the son I had listed as Walter M Vanzandt was my missing Henry.

Since I'm pretty sure that my great grandfather and his parents were in the same township, I should come across them soon.

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