Tag Archives: Census Records

Where Did My Family Celebrate 1900?

31 Dec

I’m still not sure how we’ll be celebrating New Year’s Eve tonight…very spontaneous, I know. But I’m getting a little understanding of where my ancestors spend the 1899-1900 New Year’s Eve. Here’s the rundown:

Great-grandpa Willard Mickelson was a 21 year old single man living with his mother, brother, and married sister in Logan, Utah.

Great-grandma Eleanor Tarbet was a 22 year old single lady living with her parents and four younger siblings in Logan, Utah.

Great-grandpa Charles C. Anderson was a 21 year old man living with his mother in Millville, Utah. His father was a polygamist who had moved to Canada.

Great-grandma Hidvie Caroline Nielsen was a 17 year old woman living with her parents and a ton of siblings in Millville, Utah.

Great-grandpa James Lawrence Vanderbeek was a 7 year old boy living with his parents and younger brother in Englewood, New Jersey.

Great-grandma Ruth Marie Ziesel was a 6 year old girl living with her parents and older brother in Philadelphia, PA. This is the only great-grandparent that I knew personally.

Great-grandpa John J. Roberts was a 23 year old man. He was serving an LDS mission in Samoa (1898-1902), but is listed on the census as living in Paradise, Utah with his family.

Great-grandma Kathrine P Petersen was a 13 year old girl living with her parents and many siblings in Paradise, Utah.

So that’s it. I need to go make New Year’s Eve plans…

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My Love of Addresses!

30 Dec

I just went and looked at all of the census records I’ve downloaded from Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org and every one of them, except the really early ones, have addresses (or what look like addresses..some of the handwriting is abysmal, like mine). The early ones don’t. But if I’m looking post-1900, I can see addresses on the left-hand side of each of them…

I posted a little about addresses here.

As I was replying to a comment recently, I listed a few things I do to determine, deduce, or double-check the addresses. Let’s use one of William’s homes to illustrate:

ZOOM IN:

Here is the 1930 US Census with William. Check out the bottom left hand corner for the address running up the side:

Screen shot 2012-12-25 at 7.04.20 PM

You never know what you’ll find. For instance, at first glance, William and his (3rd) wife, Mary, seem to live at either “So. Smedley Str.” or So. Smellyfest” or “So. Smulleyjest”. Hmm. I can’t tell. I know he said his home was worth $36,000. That’s like 400k bones nowadays. But if he lived on Smellyfest or Smulleyjest Street, I will disown him.

So, I’m zooming in (and rotating the picture instead of my head):

SPRUCE

Like an idiot, I left my little cursor-hand-thing in the picture when I did the screen-capture, but you get the idea. Can you see “Spruce” in there, really lightly written? Here, this will make it easier:

SPRUCE Street

“Spruce”? Yes, it looks like they lived on Spruce Street in Philadelphia. Or at least they might have. Better keep looking…

CROSS STREETS:

If I look at the street above William and Mary’s on the census form, I find “South 17th Street”. So I head to Google Maps and look for 17th Street. In fact, I look for 319 South 17th Street because that is the listing right above William. That may have been the house the census person visited right before he or she visited my ancestor. On Google Maps I find the following:

cross streets

You’ll notice that South 17th Street conveniently crosses SPRUCE STREET. And in fact, 319 South 17th Street is pretty close to 1626 Spruce Street.

There is a third thing I could try.

CITY DIRECTORIES:

I searched the City Directory Index for Philadelphia in 1950, and I found Dr. Wm Ziesel at 1626 Spruce…

Screen shot 2012-12-25 at 7.29.35 PM

Awesome. I know that isn’t the only place he lived, and soon I’m going to use the census records mixed with the city directories to track him house to house until he died…I’ve looked at some of the addresses and used the “Street View” on Google Maps to see what the houses look like (if they are still there…).

And then I will trick-or-treat there…maybe.

Addresses on the Census Record…

24 Dec

I wish you could look up US Census records by address. Maybe you can, I don’t know. I’m going to go look it up on Google.

Ok, nope. I don’t think you can.

Here’s why I care…

At some point, William Ziesel purchased a home at 1639 Franklin Street in Philadelphia. He must have purchased the home sometime before 1900, because he is listed as living at that address in the 1900 US Census. Here’s what it looks like on the actual record:

Screen shot 2012-12-24 at 9.01.53 AM

 

William’s name is underlined in blue. The street is underlined in green. The address is underlined in red. Not every census has this, and you can’t always read them. But in many cases the person doing the the census wrote the street they were working on along the right hand side of the census document. You ought to know that these addresses aren’t indexed, meaning, you’ll have to look at the actual record to see the address written along the side of the record.

He is listed at that address in a couple census records.

In the 1920 book, “Who’s Who in Philadelphia in Wartime”, William is listed, and it lists his home and dental office as 1639 N. Franklin Street.

By 1930, the census shows William and his new wife, Mary Kniveton Ziesel living at 1626 Spruce Street in Philadelphia. So, I’m guessing he moved (maybe that’s obvious). His ex-wife Marie Elizabeth is listed as living at 1421 Arch Street in Philadelphia. She is listed as having no children (they’ve all grown up and moved out) and is listed as a “Lodger” along with over 50 other lodgers. The address for Marie Elizabeth is listed along the left-hand-side just like the other census records.

I went to Google Maps and found 1421 Arch Street. It is currently the Le Meridien Hotel. It looks old (if you use the “street view” of Google Maps) so I’m guessing it is the same building. I found the website for Le Meridien and just emailed them to get a little history of the building. I did google it and found that the building started as a YMCA, so maybe my ancestor was living at the YMCA for awhile. Here is what the building looks like now:

Screen shot 2012-12-24 at 9.58.25 AM

 

Ya, it looks nice now. Pretty posh. Rooms run about $150 a night. But I doubt the YMCA was like that. If this is all true, that tells me a little about her life. At one point she was a dentist’s wife with multiple properties, and by 1930 she is living alone at a YMCA. This info helps me gain a little better understanding of her circumstances.

“Mary E” or “Mary O”?

24 Dec

I’m a novice. Or, I feel like a novice as far as family history goes. And that explains why I was a little confused until I started looking at actual documents…

As far as our family is concerned, William was always married to Marie Elizabeth Schuck. Fine. But we also figured out that he was divorced and remarried at some point (actually twice, but we’ll get into that later).

I was searching on FamilySearch.org and I happened upon a Mary O. Ziesel in one of the indices. In my noviceness I thought, “Yes! I found another wife! This is easy!” Of course, I really couldn’t find another “Mary O. Ziesel” listed anywhere, ever, which got me wondering…

Here’s what it looked like:

Screen shot 2012-12-24 at 8.15.58 AM

This is what the indexer thought they saw when they looked at the 1900 US Census for Philadelphia. It quickly dawned on me that those were the same children as Marie Elizabeth and William had. So, where is Marie E. Ziesel? Did “Mary O” do something to “Mary E” and take over as mother?

So I clicked on the “view image” link:

Screen shot 2012-12-24 at 8.19.03 AM

I found the actual census record that has been scanned into FamilySearch and this is what I saw (and maybe you’ll see it, too):

Screen shot 2012-12-24 at 8.21.02 AM

Fine. Let me zoom in to exactly what caught my attention…

Screen shot 2012-12-24 at 8.22.49 AM

At first glance, it looks like “Mary O”, but if you really squint, you can see that the “O” is actually just a beautifully written “E” with a giant bottom and a little top.

So there we have it. She was “Mary E.” all along. Good.

It pays off to look at the actual record.

So what if it is indexed wrong (the person doing to looking and typing so that you can find your ancestor’s name on the computer typed in the wrong letter, etc)? Here’s a post I recently read regarding the subject…

Happy family historying…