While preparing a few weeks ago for today's release of the 1940 U.S. Census, I wrote about about my grandfather, Walter Henry Thomas--the man I most wanted to find in the 1940 census. It was a period of transition for Granddad, living in the "big city" of Pittsburgh for a few years on his own, between his childhood growing up in the coal country of Cambia County, PA, and his enlistment in the Marine Corps and move to Parris Island, South Carolina.
Wonder of wonders, I did find him today. Took a bit of patience with the extraordinary traffic loads on NARA's 1940 Census website (22.5 million in 4 hours), and he was near the end of the batch of images in his particular enumeration district (ED). But, honestly, everything overall went better than expected. My 22-year-old future grandfather was living right where my pre-census research had told me he was most likely to be living--at 606 Center St in the Allegheny County borough of Wilkingsburg, near Pittsburgh. He listed his full name (Walter Henry Thomas), was single (two years later he had enlisted in the Marines, was living in Beaufort, SC, and married to my grandmother), and working as a doorman at a local theatre. He stated he was living in Glasgow, Cambria, Pennsylvania, in 1935, right where I would have expected him to still be living with his parents. He had worked 43 hours in the previous week (he always was a hard worker), completed 1 year of high school, and earned $770 in 1939.
Of course, he was enumerated on line 16...just missing the supplemental questions asked of the individual on line 14. Drat!