Monday, February 27, 2012

Where the Boys Are... NOT!

OK, I'm supposed to be blogging to build excitement for the 1940 US Census. But for the past 10 years, I've wondered where the heck my family was in 1930.

My dad, Matthew Calvin Herrick, was born in East Palestine, Columbiana County, Ohio, in 1919. He and his older brother, William, show up with their parents, Charles (enumerated as Charley) and Ida in 1920. Dad said the family moved a short distance to Leavittsburg, where younger brother, Ed, was born in 1921.

Dad said that, due to lack of work, Charles moved his family from Ohio to Illinois about 1927. His mother, Margaret McCabe (nee Donnelly) was living in Chicago, and could take them in. Margaret is in Chicago in 1930. She took in boarders, but Charles and family aren't with her. Since I didn't see them in Illinois or Ohio, I figured they were probably in Chicago under some incorrect name, or en route to visit family in another state. I tried each of the boys' names, with Charles, Char* or Ida as parents, and came up empty.

Just now, I checked Ancestry again and — there are Charles and Ida, in Leavittsburg Village, Warren Twp., Trumbull Co., Ohio. Uh-oh. Had I spaced out for 10 years? Why didn't I find them previously? And where are the boys? (Feel free to hum the theme from "Twilight Zone." Nah, I'm fairly certain they weren't beamed aboard a Mother Ship.)

I don't know if Ancestry's recent image enhancements were why I found my grandparents now. The surname Herrick is the faintest name on the entire page, and enhancing the image does make it readable. But why just my grandparents? Where are their boys?

Every genealogist knows that you can't accept at face value everything in a census. What if a neighbor answered the questions because the family wasn't home at the time? That wasn't the case here. The number of years of marriage is consistent, as are the places of birth for both Charles and Ida, as well as their parents. So I'm fairly certain that one of my grandparents answered the questions. Did the enumerator become distracted, and forget to ask about children? Were the boys away from home? Dad used to tell us how he and his brothers would go to Iowa during the summer to visit his Grandma Speed and his Speed, Stotts and Hale relatives. The census was taken in April- too early for summer vacation. Did schools have Spring Break back then?

Maybe the enumerator became confused. My grandma Ida (huh? Her middle initial was H? Dad didn't think she had a middle name!) is listed on line 90. The next family also shows another woman named Ida H., on line 92. Coincidence, or error? I may never know.

I'll feel great when I find my family in 1940. It feels good finding Charles and Ida in 1930, at long last. But I sure wish I knew where the boys are.

No comments: