Tag Archives: Beatrice O’Connell

What Were your Ancestors Doing in 1940

With the release of the 1940 Census in April, most genealogists have been spending time mining the census for any information they can find on their family. We have spent many hours trying to locate each ancestor to see how they were living in 1940, how did the depression affect them?

I was excited this week when I found my great-great uncle John O’Connell in the 1940 Census (thanks to all who indexed the state of New York, I found this with a shaking leaf on Ancestry.com). Not only was he still living with his wife, they also had a boarder.

John’s wife Beatrice was a music teacher and worked all 52 weeks of the year. how exciting to read that, given the times and how tight money was, I am amazed that she still had work. According to the census information, she worked for a private company. So, she could have been self employed or worked for a company. She did not work for the public schools.  She worked 8 hours per week. But, the important piece is that she is working.

John was lucky too! He worked all 52 weeks at a restaurant, that he owned at about 70 hours per week.

John O’Connell household, 1940 Census, Glens Falls, Warren, NY. Ancestry.com

John’s lived at 61 Sherman Ave. and his home was valued at $6,000 which is not so bad, it could definitely have been worse.

I would like to find out what restaurant John owned. I have already looked through the directory records on Ancestry and have not found any information on the restaurant. The only information that was given pertained to John, himself.

O’Connell, John. US City Directories, 1937 Glens Falls, NY. Ancestry.com

This tells me that John and Beatrice lived in a house at 61 Sherman Ave (same place as 1940 Census). John had business (bus) and it was in Hudson Falls (HF). I was able to determine the HF = Hudson Falls because another listing showed someone employed (emp) in Schndy (Schenectady).

So, do you have any thoughts how we can figure out what restaurant John owned? At this point, I have not looked at deeds or probate records for him.

*As a side not, I do know that by 1942 John was employed by Luzerne Villa from the US City Directory.*

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