Welcome to My First 40 Finds in the 1940 US Census! This blog series is a tribute to the first 40 entries that I located without the use of an index.
The 1940 US Federal Census was released online to the public on April 2, 2012. Within the first three days, I had already found 40 families from my various tree branches. I spent six months prior to the release researching the exact addresses and locations for these families so I could find them quickly upon the census release.
This 1940 US Federal Census entry features the family of my maternal grandmother, Mary Rose (Stroik) Karpuk. Mary was living as a single mother, separated from her husband Andrew Karpuk who had moved out just a few months earlier. Mary is 29 years old with seven kids to feed and a 5th grade education. To this day, I still don’t know how she pulled it off. She is living in the same home as she was five years earlier in 1935. Her children were Edward Karpuk (12), Rose Karpuk (11), Donald Karpuk (9), Helen Karpuk (7), Andrew Karpuk Jr. (4), Albert Karpuk (1) and baby Alice Karpuk (4 months).
I have come to realize that in the 1940 Census, when the designation for “Married” is crossed out in pencil with the #7 shown, it is a special code that means “Separated but not Divorced.” I saw this a lot during my research.
This is a particularly heart-wrenching census entry for our family. Mary was struggling to make ends meet with these seven young children since her husband had left just months earlier. To make matters even worse, this census was enumerated on April 2, 1940 – just three days before her baby Alice Pauline Karpuk died of pneumonia. She was only four months old.
Mary (Stroik) Karpuk
Source citation: 1940 US Federal Census, State of Michigan, Saginaw County, Saginaw, ED 73-49A, Sheet 1A, Lines 33-40.
Find out more about Mary Rose (Stroik) Karpuk in my Cole Green Family Tree on Ancestry.com.
Check out the memorial for Mary Rose (Stroik, Kasper, Karpuk, Dreffs) Romaine and her baby Alice Pauline Karpuk on FindAGrave.com.
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