Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sweethearts in the 1940 Census

My Mom and Her First Boyfriend – the Boy Next Door!

These pictures were taken on July, 1938 so they are earlier than the census but they are just SO cute! The little boy - Wayne Gustin - almost looks like my Mom's twin in the bottom picture.  I've had these pictures for quite some time and heard about Wayne.  So it was fun when the 1940 census came out to see them there in black and white living next door to each other. As you can see my Mom is 5 while her beau is only 4 - she was the older woman!

Interestingly, in answer to the question about where the person lived in 1935, this shows that everyone listed was living at this “same house” which is SO not true. In 1940 my Grandfather is now married to his second wife, Ollie Belle Duncan, formerly Braddock, who most definitely was not his wife in 1935, the year my mother was born. 

According to this Denver city directory, in 1935 it would have been my grandfather and his FIRST wife living in this house. 

According to a later city directory, “Mrs. Olive Belle Braddock” was living at quite a different address than this - although apart from her first husband.  I guess they didn’t want to go into the sordid details with the census taker!


  1. I've long been intrigued by what can only be called, in general, 'contradictory' information found in the census. That's in a context where people are assured that what is recorded there will not be seen by another human for a century.

    Is it that they don't believe the assurances? Or is it that they do accept the assurance but - regardless - it's a that's nobody's business but ours thing? Is it even, possibly, a kind of sympathetic magic where the act of reporting to a state functionary transforms a desire into an 'official narrative' as distinct from a personal one? And obviously there's also the case where the person just gets it wrong with an honest mistake or a sincere belief in what is not the case.

    Whatever it is, it seems to suggest that the census is not being taken quite as seriously as the census takers would wish.

    And for those of us who look at our families through the (often seemingly reversed) telescope of official channels, who have only family stories as the other source, what are we to believe?

    Such fun!

  2. Thanks so much Paul - what a great commentary! I think that all of the above scenarios can be true. In this case I would lean toward the desire to turn this into the "official" narrative. My grandparents always like to give out that this was the family as it has always been - that my Mom's stepmother was her mother.

    I does just drive home the point for me, AGAIN, that the census information just might possible not always be 100% correct ;-)

  3. I love your collage. What software did you use to frame your pictures? I also love your blog template. So original.

  4. Hi Kathy ~ The blog template is just from a website...I'm unfortunately not that creative :-) I used Photoshop for the census/pictures.


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