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Ask Ancestry Anne: Finding Easton Page

Question: My father died when I was 9 years old and I never knew my father’s father. My father’s birth name was EASTON ROLLY PAGE. I have no idea what my grandfather’s name is. I have two different dates my father was born and he died on February 10, 1948 in San Francisco, CA and is buried in a military cemetery, I believe, in San Bruno, CA. I was told he was born on August 30, 1901 or 1904. So I’m confused and would very much like to trace my ancestors, but don’t have a clue. He was married before he married my mother and his 1st wife had, i believe 4 children. He had 2 or 3 girls and one son named Donald Page who was born around 1920-1924.So if you could possibly track some of my family, I’d be ecstatic just knowing they are still alive. Thank you so much.

Daniel Rolly Page

Answer: I’m sorry for your loss at such a young age. I have been able to find some information on your family.

I started with your father’s death date, and I found him in the California Death Index

It tells us that he was born on August 31, 1903 in Kansas and that his father’s surname was Page and his mother’s maiden name was Singleton.

I also found him in the U.S. Veterans Gravesites, ca. 1776-2006 data collection.which reports his birth date as August 31, 1901.  It tells us his Service start date was June 5, 1920, that he was a Corporal in the Army during WWII and that he is buried in Golden Gate National Cemetery which is in San Bruno, California.

Birth years often vary from document to document, and if the 1903 date from the death index is correct, it may be that he lied about his age to get into the military. He would have only been 17 in 1920.

With this information, I start working backwards through the census records. In 1930, Easton was living with his wife Lucille, who he married around 1923, and their four children, Eileen, Norma, Donald, and Anita.  They were living in Los Angeles, California with Lucille’s parents, Henry and Emma Ahlers.  Easton was working as a Spring Coiler in a Furniture Factory.


In 1920, Easton is living with his parents, James and Hettie Page in Newbury, Wabaunsee County, Kansas.  His father is a Carpenter in the Locomotive industry and they owned their own farm. 

In 1915, Easton is living with his parents, J. W. and Hettie and his older sister Orpha who is school teacher.  Orpha was born in Arkansas eight years before Easton; so the family moved to Kansas sometime before Easton’s birth. (Note: on the Kansas State Census, make sure you look at the page after the name page for all the information.)

In 1910, Easton was living in McFarland in the Newberry Township, Wabaunsee County, Kansas.  He is living with his parents James W. and Hettie D. Page and his sister Orpha M.  Hettie had six children, but only two, Orpha and Easton were living in 1910. James was a Carpenter working for a Railroad Car Repair company.  James and Hettie married about 1894.

In 1900, living in Lincoln, Madison County, Arkansas, James and Hettie had been married for six years. They had had 4 children, but only Arthur was living. They were also living with Hettie’s younger sister, Viola Singleton.

So to recap, we know that Easton married Lucille Ahlers, sometime between 1920 and 1930.  Given that Eileen, the oldest child,  was born in 1924; they were most likely married around 1922 or 1923.  They had four children by 1930.  Finding Easton in 1940 would be the next logical step in determining how many children.  It appears that Donald Ralph Page died on February 26, 1998 in Riverside, California, according the Social Security Death Index (SSDI).  I could not find marriage records or death records for any of the three girls.

Easton’s parents were most likely James Page and Hettie Singleton.  They were married around 1894, probably in Arkansas.  They had at least six children of whom two, Orpha and Easton, lived to adulthood. Arthur is the only name we’ve seen as one of the four who died early.

There is still a lot of searching left to do; hopefully this gets you started.

Happy Searching!

Ancestry Anne

Ask Ancestry Anne: Finding someone in the 1940 Census

Help Anne!

I want to find George Canavan in 1940 in Pittsburgh, possibly on 1919 Warren St. But Pennsylvania is HUGE and I don’t know where to start. I’m impatient and really want to find something. Help me!

— Jolene Worth


Help is on the way.  Let’s lay this out in steps, so we can repeat them later.

Step 1: Street Address  Find a street address if you can.  In rural areas this may not be as necessary, but in cities such as Pittsburgh it is a must unless you want to search tens of Enumeration Districts and thousands of pages.

But we have a possible address, so let’s go with that.  First, I look up the address on a map program so I know cross streets.

Step 2: Find the enumeration district. On the 1940 Census home page, you’ll find tools to help narrow your search.  I chose “Already know the cross streets?”  I choose Pennsylvania, Allegheny, and Warren for the the street. Then I choose Rising Main Ave and Lanark.

Be warned…this works most of the time, but sometimes, the ED is wrong and you have to try other combinations. 

Step 3: Examine the enumeration district.Let’s go to Enumeration District 69-712:

First then we need to do is find the image with the correct street. Go to the Image Controls under Actions and Rotate Right so that you can easily see the street names:

Choose Rotate right and zoom in so you can read the street names, and starting paging through to find Warren.

We find 1919 Warren St on Page 12 and find George Canavan.  Be warned…lots of people have been finding the address only to find that the people they are looking for have moved.  But you don’t know if you don’t look.


Step 4. Examine the image:

So what do we see on the census?  We know that George owned his own home, and it was worth $1200 and it wasn’t a farm. If you move over to the Education column, column 14 has an “H-4” in it which tells us that George completed 4 years of high school. Column 15 tells us he was born in Pennsylvania.

Columns 17-19 tell us that the family lived in the same place in 1935.  That XOXO in Column D tells us that “Same Place” is a legitimate place to have lived in 1935.

Employment information can be found in columns 21-33.  You’ll notice that George worked 32 hours the previous week (Column 26), he was a Crane man in a Steel Mill and he was a paid worker (Columns 28-30) and he worked 52 weeks in 1939 and earned $1200. (Columns 31 & 32).

You will also notice that George’s wife was asked supplemental questions.  And the circled x next to Alice’s name means that she was the one who supplied this information to the enumerator.


If you look down at the bottom of the census image, you will see the supplemental lines (there are two on every image).  The most interesting part here might be that she was 18 when she was first married, it was her first marriage and that she had 2 children.

Make sure you read the image completely when you finally find it!  The information may just confirm what you already now, but the bits of information about education and income give you a picture of the family’s life in 1940.

Happy Searching!

— Ancestry Anne

Ask-Ancestry-Anne: Interesting Tip from a Member on the 1940 Census

This isn’t actually a question, but a comment that might help when people can’t find a specific address.

I worked the 1990 census in the “follow-up” phase where we went back to obtain forms from households who hadn’t returned them.  There were many residences where the street name had changed due to increased traffic on the original road. It was no longer safe for mail delivery or a driveway to be on what was now a busy highway. So the house hadn’t moved, but instead of being 701 Main Street it was now 701 Harvest Drive. They made the landowner move the driveway to the side street. 

This will look really confusing on the census forms because all other houses on Harvest Drive have very different numbers.

— Deb

Thanks Deb for sharing.  You just never know what twist you might run into on your search.

Happy searching!

— Ancestry Anne