Making Comparisons With Each Census

Today, I spent time looking for my Italian in-laws. To be specific the home I was looking for was in Harrison, Westchester Co., NY this line belongs to my MIL, it was her mom and grandparents I was looking for. I was not 100% if the family had moved or not, as it is not a primary line I research. It is one of the lines I go to when I seem to be stuck at a dead-end and I am not sure where to proceed on my own lines.

So, I decided today was the day I would do a little Italian research. I am going to see my MIL tomorrow and I wanted to be able to tell her what I have found on her family this week (I had already found her dad and his mom in the 1940 Census this week).

I found the family, they were in the second of the two ED’s that Steve Morse’s website suggested I try. The searching did not take too long and I was happy to have another find this week. I stepped away from my research for many hours today to start my cooking for Easter dinner, we are bringing lasagna rolls.

Coming back to the computer, I started looking at all the tabs I have open and wondered why I was keeping them open (this is a major issue with me). One tab was ancestry and the 1930 census, another was the 1940 census. Both were the Italian family. I am not one that normally looks at the differences of each census, but I was curious to see if the family was in the same house. I can not say that I am 100% positive it was the same house, but it was the same street.

From there, I looked at the value of the home. Most of my family rented their homes, so it was nice to look at a family that actually owned their home and see what the house was worth in these different times. In 1930 the home was valued at $10,000, today that amount would range from $111,000 to $1,660,000 according to Measuring Worth.

In 1940, the value of the home was $3,300. Using the website above, it states that today that would range from $48,200 to $551,000. I wonder how accurate this site it, because that is a huge gap in numbers.

Personally, I was glad to see that all adult members of the house were working at the time of the census and that the youngest was still in school. Though, each of the adults had 16 weeks of being unemployed.

Usually, I just look at the make up of each family and who is in the house. The things I want to know are:

  • are there more children?
  • did a in-law move in?
  • what type of job did they have?

These are my basic need to knows when I look at a new census record. It is obvious that there is so much more to be analyzing with each census that is released. I am curious to see what this specific families home will be valued at in the 1950 US Federal Census.

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