Christopher Wallace

Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Federal Census of 1940 and how butchered Grandpa's name.

April 2, 2016 will be the anniversary of the release of the 1940 Federal U.S. Census.  It was highly anticipated, there were guides and blogs about how to prepare for the release before it was indexed, how to use the 1930 census to help locate your people before indexing. I was prepared and even succeeded in locating grandpa and grandma Wallace along with my mom and uncle, checked them off my list and moved onto other families.

As Ancestry got through their indexing of the 1940 census those little shakey leaves started showing up on my trees and I added the information and links to my trees, but the 1940 census for my grandpa's family that I had located never appeared, I didn't think much about it, I had found it before the indexing so knew it was there for them, but had never saved a copy for my records, I thought about it now and then and would do a search using different search criteria but they never showed up.  Then a week or so ago I was listening to a podcast, ExtremeGenes, and they were discussing vs FamilySearch.orgs indexing differences and how much better FamilySearch had done with indexing the 1940 federal census and gave examples, well I was out walking the dog as I listened to this, but when I got back in the house I sat down at the computer and used my granpa's family as my test family.  At I filled out the search form filling it out many different ways, they never showed up in the many pages of results, many results not anywheres close to what the fields were filled out with. So I then moved over to, put in very basic information, and the results surprised me, they where the first family to come up.

So back to but this time instead of filling out search fields with personal information I chose to manually search the census line by line but using the information for the location and image number I had from FamilySearch.  Well I found them and it became very clear as to why I never would have found them doing that search for an individual on, because whoever did the indexing for this image butchered the entire name of Arthur Wallace and the others in the family as well. At Arthur Wallace is indexed as Aurhur Wallau. My grandma, Dorothy  Wallace is indexed as Derothy Wallau and my mother, Lois Wallace is Loio Wallau, my uncle, Robert J Wallace is indexed as Robert J Wallau.  I really feel this whole family is lost to searches done through and that tics me off, Ancestry has the money to do this right. FamilySearch indexers are volunteers, I did some indexing it's not easy but FamilySearch has different levels that an image goes through during indexing, it doesn't appear that is how does their indexing.

So now I have saved the image of the 1940 census to my computer where I will have it filed safely away. Below is a screenshot of Ancestry.coms image with the misspelling.

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