Here we are already into April. Already we’re at Week # 14 of the 52 Ancestors Challenge. This will be my 5th post out of a possible 14. Yikes, what can I say? The year seems to be flying by very quickly.
Speaking of April, as many of you are well aware on April 1st the 1950 US Census was released. I was interested to see if I could locate my Grandparents and my Mom who lived in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles, California. I must admit I had a rather difficult time with the National Archives website search function.
As you can see, I entered in the search parameters “California / Los Angeles / Thomas Perry”. The results numbered oh…10,000! I looked through a couple of pages of results, finally deciding to move on with my life. Not knowing the enumeration district was not helping my cause. I did however know the address 11831 Chaparal Street, Los Angeles, California, 90049. My breakthrough came when I read on the Generations Cafe Facebook page that “Ancestry now has all of the 1950 census images!” I have to agree with Amy when she says that she found it much easier to navigate than the National Archives site.
Through Ancestry, I was able to use the address to find the exact enumeration district 66-798 and then was very quickly able to find my family on page 8. Check it out!
At the time, my Grandfather (born in North Carolina) was 33 years old, a Pediatrician who worked 60 hours the previous week. My Grandmother (born in New York) was 29 and spent her time at home mostly due to the fact that they had just adopted my Mom, who had only been born (in California) 6 months prior to this census being taken. I may not have learned anything new from this information, but it is a snapshot of their lives on that day, April 5th, 1950. Exactly 72 years ago today in fact!
I also found my Grandmother’s brother, Richard Lippman and his family living at 444 North Bundy Drive, less than a mile away from them! It must have been nice for my Mom to grow up with her cousins so close by. In fact, I believe it was not long after that they moved onto Chaparal Street as well.
What has been entertaining for me has been snooping around the ‘hood. On Google Maps, my Mom’s childhood home is a stone’s throw away from “The Golden Girls” house, 5 minutes from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air’s home aka the Banks Mansion. As I flipped through the 1950 Census pages I came across some names you might recognize who were neighbours of my Grandparents and my Mom. Screenwriters, motion picture directors, agents, actors & actresses, music producers… the list goes on and on. There isn’t a page in this neighbourhood where I didn’t come across someone with an impressive Wikipedia presence.
Some of the “famous” names who shared a postal code with my Mom…
Peter Lawford, an actor who became part of the Rat Pack and who married JFK’s sister. Jack L. Warner of Warner Brothers Studios. Cesar Romero, an actor, Frank Capra, who directed It’s a Wonderful Life. Nicholas Ray, who directed James Dean in A Rebel Without a Cause. Gary Cooper an actor who actually lived on the same street and I’m assuming was doing quite well since he and his wife employed a staff of 5!! Also, Herbert V. Hoffman, who coincidentally was the census enumerator for his own residence.
That was really fun to check out the 1950 Census of this particular enumeration district in LA.