Once the indexing was completed I set about trying to find my families by name in the 1940 census. I concentrated on what I consider to be my four main lines: Manson, Gines, Bowie, and Bryant. My results were somewhat underwhelming.
Gines family: I’ve already mentioned that I found my maternal grandmother and some of her children but that their name was misspelled. Beyond that portion of the family in Kansas City I could find no one else. I was especially concerned that I could not find my grandfather William Edward Gines. So I turned my efforts to Shreveport. I was quite a bit more successful in Shreveport. I found lots of folks surnamed Gines, many of whom I recognized from my prior research, either in Shreveport or elsewhere in the state. I then looked in Texas. And I can report that I found everyone I expected to find in Nacogdoches.
Missing people: Grace Gines (probably in Louisiana or Texas) William Edward Gines
Sarah Green Gines
The Mansons: I found most of the Mansons, and they were scattered throughout Texas. Some were in Midland; others were in various places around the state such as Ellis County and Taylor County. There were and are a lot of Mansons in East Texas from Tyler south to Beaumont. But the East Texas Mansons are not part of our family. Many of them I believe came from the vast holdings of slaves at the Mansons Wilkinson County, Georgia, holding. But again there were some disturbing omissions. My father for example and my grandparents I had yet to find in the 1940 census.
Missing people: Quintin HV Manson
Jessie Beatrice Bowie Manson
Harold V Manson
Bowie family: there were hundreds of Bowies in Texas at the time of the 1940 census. Some were related to me as descendents of James Bowie, FMC, most were not however. There are so many of us that it was difficult to say if anyone was missing. That will need more work.
Bryant family: this family was situated around the Gulf Coast towns of Rockport and Corpus Christi. I found a number of members of the family, but several key members, such as my great-grandmother, Hattie Bryant, were seemingly missing.
Missing people: Hattie Bryant
All of the missing people were alive and well in 1940. So obviously I have got some more work to do to find them in the census.
Interestingly enough however many of the missing from the census were found in city directories. I’ve said before that I like Ancestry.com’s US City Directories, 1821-1989 (beta) collection. And the number of people that I could not find in the 1940 census I did find in city directories from about 1939 through about 1943. It just goes to prove the worth of city directories. They are sometimes more precise than census records in terms of addresses and occupations. And in many cities there is a new city directory every year. It’s possible therefore to get a preview of, for example, the 1950 census (not due out until 2022) by using the city directories.
I’ll be reporting back my strategies and results for finding the missing people in the 1940 census.
September 8, 2012 Saturday at 5:42 pm