Well it has been a long, long time since I have posted here. It’s certainly not that I haven’t been researching! This past year of pandemic isolation has given many of us an abundance of time to explore our roots. I have had many other researchers leave comments and questions. It has been a pleasure to share information with distant cousins and learn from them.
I’ve also spent some time researching for other people, relatives and friends. This post has nothing to do with my Hogue and Girardin ancestors. However, it does involve a useful tip that I felt was worthwhile posting.
As researchers know, most of the population schedules of 1890 Census of the United States were damaged in a fire in 1921. They were stored and then inexplicably destroyed. It pains me greatly to admit a librarian was involved. Sigh. Only fragments remain.
So what to do if you are searching for people who lived in New York City in 1890? Now it is true that the New York City Directories can be used to find people in 1889 and 1891, but they don’t record children unless they are employed. While searching for a friend I came upon the New York City Police Census of 1890. Despite the title it is not a census of the police department, or a census of criminals!
Let me explain. It turns out that the Mayor of New York felt that the Federal Census conducted in June, and which showed a decrease in population, was wrong! He therefore authorized a new census to be conducted by Police Officers in October. It resulted in about 200,000 more people being counted. See the article at https://www.nypl.org/blog/2019/05/09/1890-new-york-city-police-census for a fuller discussion.
The good news is that most of the 1890 Police Census has been preserved. Microfilm is available at 3 locations: the City of New York Municipal Archives, the New York Public Library Central Branch, and the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Since most researchers may not be able to travel to these locations, it’s wonderful that FamilySearch has also digitized the microfilm, but these images can only be accessed at your local FamilySearch Family History Center, many of which are closed indefinitely due to the pandemic.
All is not lost however. FamilySearch also has an index to the Police Census at https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/2381996. And this is where my tip comes in. If you search for a person and find them you will get a result that looks like this.
At first glance this doesn’t give you much information, just a name and age and a direction to which book/volume of the original census contains this record. No address, no marital status, no family relationship. How can I be sure this is the right person?
If you look closely you will notice that this information is on line 4 of image 00281 on Film # 001309969. By searching for other Hooley names, and comparing the Document Information, I was able to confirm that 3 other people (that I knew belonged to the family I was looking for) were in fact on lines 1, 2, and 3 of that same image!
On the off chance that I may someday be able to get to the local Family History Centre here in Winnipeg, I can go to FamilySearch at https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/203070?availability=Family%20History%20Library and scroll down to the correct Film # and find the original record.
So with this method I was able to confirm which children were still in the family household in 1890.
Never stop looking and always thoroughly examine your sources.