1940 Census: Maternal Grandfather (aka He’s Everywhere)

My main goal for the 1940 census was to find all of my grandparents, as this is the first time any of them were listed on a census record.

Grandparent number 3 (according to my pedigree chart) and the third one I found (after failing at finding grandparent #4) is my maternal grandfather, Robert Casell.  He took a bit longer to find than he should have, as I had The Evangelical Lutheran St. John's Orphan Home where he lived as being on Mineral Springs Road in Buffalo, Erie Co., NY.  Turns out it was a town over, in West Seneca.  Once I had that knowledge he was tremendously easy to find, as the orphanage is written in the enumeration district descriptions.

m-t0627-02532-00086

He is listed as 9 years old, with his brothers Alfred and James.  Their sister Beatrice is located 2 sheets later as “Beatrice Cassel” (the list is broken down by male and female).

While talking to my mother and grandmother last night, they asked if I had found my great grandfather yet.  Since I had not looked, but was certain I could find it easily due to having the house address, I was on the search for Alfred Casell on South Division Street in Buffalo.

m-t0627-02824-00600

I was rather surprised when listed below Alfred were all four of his children!  I have read about other people finding their relatives in two or more places at once in the census, but I have never had this with my family (they were a stay-put kind of people), so this made me very excited.

How does this happen?  I know for a fact that my grandfather and his siblings were in the orphanage from 16 Oct 1939-26 Jun 1947, as I have the paperwork from the orphanage.  It is possible they were visiting home on 1 April 1940 (or the day the census taken arrived, if directions were not followed properly) and were therefore included in both.  According to the sheet, one of the people Alfred was renting space in the house to provided the information, so it is also possible that he did not understand the directions on the census or was unaware that the children had moved to an orphanage after their mother died.  They also may have been confused as to the permanent location of the children.  Either way, it is pretty cool to see my grandfather not once, but twice on the census.

Sources:

1940 U.S. census, Erie County, New York, population schedule, West Seneca, enumeration district (ED) 15-179, sheet 6A, p. 2898 (stamped), dwelling St. John's Orphan Home, family (blank), Robert Casell; digital images, National Archives and Records Administration, 1940 Census (http://1940census.archives.gov : accessed 3 Apr 2012); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T627, roll 02532.

1940 U.S. census, Erie County, New York, population schedule, West Seneca, enumeration district (ED) 15-179, sheet 7A, p. 2898 (stamped), dwelling St. John's Orphan Home, family (blank), Beatrice Cassel; digital images, National Archives and Records Administration, 1940 Census (http://1940census.archives.gov : accessed 3 Apr 2012); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T627, roll 02532.

1940 U.S. census, Erie County, New York, population schedule, Buffalo, enumeration district (ED) 64-60, sheet 15B, dwelling 469, family 240, Alfred M. Casell household; digital images, National Archives and Records Administration, 1940 Census (http://1940census.archives.gov : accessed 3 Apr 2012); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T627, roll 02824.

 

Mrs. R. Donald Coppola and Miss Dorothy H. Dehn, C.G., editors, Records of St. John's Orphan Home 1865 - 1961 (Buffalo, New York: Abilgal Filmore Chapter, DAR, 1981), 20.

Comments

  1. That's interesting about your grandfather being enumerated twice. I had the same thing happen for my great-grandfather in 1880, and I wonder what the statistics are for how often this happened.

    My great-grandfather was enumerated on June 1, the day he conveniently arrived at Castle Garden, NY from Scotland. And then he was counted again a few weeks later in Pennsylvania, where he settled before sending for the rest of the family.

    I had first seen this "duplicate" many years ago, and never made the connection that they were the same person until I paid more attention to the location. If he had arrived in America just one day later, he would have missed being enumerated in a census until 1900.

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