I wanted to find my paternal great-grandparents, Carl Albert and Hilda Maria Gillberg in the 1940 census. Carl and Hilda were the parents of my grandmother, Ingrid Anna Gillberg. Well, I am happy to say that I was able to find Carl and Hilda in the 1940 census! Here’s the process I went through to find them:
I knew they were in Los Angeles, California in 1930. Here they are in the 1930 census.1You may remember from my previous post Wedding Wednesday - Arthur Harry Iverson and Ingrid Anna Gillberg, that Arthur and Ingrid were married at the home of Ingrid’s parents in Ely, Nevada in 1931. So I did a search in the 1940 census for Nevada (yep, that state is now searchable), in case they were still there in 1940. No luck! Okay, now what?
I looked more closely at what information I had for Carl and Hilda and what else I could find on them from Ancestry.com and voila! Here were clues I could use! Carl and Hilda both immigrated to the U.S. from Sweden. They both had Declarations of Intention from 1939 and those papers had an address on them! Hurray! I also found a U.S. Naturalization Record Index Record for Hilda from 1942 and that had an address on it as well! The addresses from the 1939 and 1942 documents were different. Well, now I had something to go on! So, it’s off to SteveMorse.org I went in hopes of finding them in the 1940 census!
I didn’t find them in the first couple of Enumeration Districts I tried. (Operator error – apparently I hadn’t entered the correct cross streets…silly me.) I decided to keep on looking and after entering the correct cross streets…Eureka!…Here they were at the address they listed in their Declaration of Intention documents in 1939! Persistence paid off! So, here are my great-grandparents, Carl and Hilda, in the 1940 Census.2
Because the above image of the 1940 census is so small, I decided to split it in half. Hopefully this makes it easier to read.
It’s really amazing what the 1940 census can tell us about the kinds of lives our ancestors were living at that time. It was kind of sad to see that my Great-Grandpa Carl was working as a vegetable peddler from a private truck. Of course, this was during the Great Depression. The census states that Carl was engaged in Public Emergency Work, and was seeking employment at the time. In Sweden he worked as a tinsmith, according to a passenger list and subsequently he worked as a baker and laborer here in the U.S. according to several census records and my own Grandmother Ingrid's personal history. I really appreciate the sacrifices my ancestors made to come here to the U.S.!
Thanks for reading!
Copyright © Jana Last 2012
1 Year: 1930; Census Place: Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; Roll: 145; Page: 8A; Lines 22 and 23; Enumeration District: 332; Image: 800.0; FHL microfilm: 2339880. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002. ↩
2 Year: 1940; Census Place: Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; Roll: T627_411; Page: 9A; Lines 18 and 19; Enumeration District: 60-895. Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.↩