That does it. As we told you this morning, you can now search for your relatives from any state in the just-completed index to the 1940 census on Ancestry.com. We took the latest state indexes for a test drive and here’s who we found.
In the hit movie Back to the Future, we see “Doc Brown” as he was in 1955. Now we can travel back in time and catch a glimpse of actor Christopher Lloyd in 1940. A one-year-old, he was living in Stamford, Fairfield Co., Connecticut, with his parents, sister Adele, and several servants.
Ernest Hemingway was enumerated with his wife Pauline in 1940 at his famous home at 907 Whitehead on Key West, Monroe Co., Florida. It was not to be for long. That year he divorced Pauline, married the famous war correspondent, Martha Gellhorn, and moved to Cuba.
Although he was born John Charles Carter in 1923, by the time of the 1940 census, at age 16, John was already going by Charlton Heston—a combination of his mother’s maiden name and his step-father’s last name.
Model and actress, Kim Novak, was born Marilyn Pauline Novak in 1933, and in 1940, she’s living in Chicago at 1910 Springfield Avenue. Her dad worked as a clerk for a “steam railway,” earning $1,060 in 1939.
Quincy Delight Jones, Jr.
When Rashida Jones was featured on Who Do You Think You Are? this past season, we learned a bit about her mother’s side of the family. Now we can learn a little about her dad, music producer Quincy Jones. At age seven, he was living with his parents and brother on Chicago’s South Side, at 3548 Prairie Avenue. His father was employed in construction as a carpenter.
Antoine Dominique “Fats” Domino Jr.
R&B legend Antoine “Fats” Domino was only twelve in 1940. His family was living next door to Harrison Verrett, a relative who is credited with helping him learn to play.
“The King” was five years old and living in rural Lee County, Mississippi, where his father, Vernon, worked as a carpenter on a sanitary project and mom, Gladys, was a seamstress.
Morgan Freeman’s family moved around quite a bit when he was young, but the 1940 census found him living at 3412 Vernon Avenue in Chicago, Cook Co., Illinois. His father’s relationship to the head of household is listed as “partner,” which is a common notation you’ll find on the 1940 census. The enumerators were instructed that, “if two or more persons who are not related by blood or marriage share a common dwelling unit as partners, write head for one and partner for the other or others.” Here on the heels of the Great Depression, it’s not surprising to find friends pooling resources and sharing a residence.
Jack Nicholson was raised by his grandparents as their own child. In 1940, his is living in Neptune, Monmouth Co., New Jersey with grandmother, Ethel, listed as the head of household. His mother, June and Jack list their relationship to her as daughter and son, respectively. Ethel worked as a beautician and June was working as an exhibition dancer for a theatrical agency.
Willie Hugh Nelson
In 1940, Willie Nelson and his sister Bobbie were living in Hill County, Texas, with their widowed grandmother. They are listed as “son” and “daughter.” Bobbie began playing piano in her brother’s band in the 1970s and continues to tour with him.
The late Andy Griffith is living with his parents in Mount Airy, Surry Co., North Carolina, a place that is reminiscent of the setting for his famous Andy Griffith Show. The town embraces that link and is home to the Andy Griffith museum. It is still home to the original “Snappy Lunch” diner, and the town hosts “Mayberry Days” every September. (Yes, there is also a Floyd’s Barber shop now.)
Andy’s co-star Don Knotts, was living with his widowed mother, and brother in the town where he was born, Morgantown, Monongalia Co., West Virginia. His brother had earned $300 in the past year working as a laborer in school construction.
Charles Hardin “Buddy” Holley
April 8, 1940. “That’ll be the day” that the census taker came to call at the Holley household, where Ella P. gave the details (indicated with the x in a circle after her name) on her son Charles H., who would someday be known to the world as rock and roll legend, Buddy Holly.
In 1940, Senator John McCain’s family was still living in the Panama Canal Zone where he had been born in 1936, and where his father was a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy.