My Autobiography by Michael Normandy, Sr.

 

The first time I appeared on a Federal Census was in 1930. I was four years old. This copy of the page I was listed on was downloaded from ancestry.com by my younger sister, Priscilla. I'm going to let her talk about this census since she's the family genealogist.
 
Hi Everybody, it's me, Priscilla. This is a cropped copy of a page from the 1930 Federal Census which shows all the people who lived at 181 Maujer St., Brooklyn Borough, Kings County, New York. The Enumeration District was 24-166. It was enumerated by the census taker on April 18, 1930. The information was supposed to reflect the address the people lived at on April 1, 1930. The actual census page has lots more information that the part below and is too large to include here. It shows each person's occupation, where their mother and father were born, and if an immigrant, it includes the year they first came to the United States. The Federal Census comes out every ten years. The last one made public was the 1940 census. Since the census is released 72 years after it was enumerated, the 1950 census will be released to the public on April 1, 2022. When the 72-year wait law was made and there was no internet yet, most people didn't live beyond 72 years, so their private information was safe until after they died. Now our life expectancy is longer, so many of us have an awful lot of our private information accessible to the public. It's probably all available somewhere on the internet anyway. 

The facts listed on a census record are just what the informant, usually a person in the family, answers to the questions the census taker asks. Sometimes people don't want to give out certain personal information and change it a little bit for one reason or another. The accuracy of the info also depends on how carefully the census taker records it on the form. For instance, our father, Sylvester Normandy is on line 60. His name was spelled wrong so it got indexed as Stevester Normandy instead of Sylvester Normandy. Maybe it sounded that way to the census taker. I was a census taker for the 1980 census and some accents are definitely hard to understand. They got our mother's name right on this one, Olympia. However, she was 27 at the time, not 26 at is shows, and she was 18 when she got married, not 17. Our older sister was 8 and is listed correctly by her legal name, Angelina, but she never liked her name because she was named after an aunt who died in her teens. Everyone called our sister Jean. It's even Jean on her gravestone. Even gravestones aren't always accurate, but that's another story. My brother Michael, who will always be Buddy to me, is on line 63 and they didn't spell his name right. They have Micheal instead of Michael. I'm not listed on this census since I wasn't born yet.

I didn't realize my birth family once lived at the famous 181 Maujer Street address. I learned that in 1930 our Simonetti grandparents had only one child living at home with them, Aunt Susie, who was single. Three of their children who were married and had children rented apartments at 181 Maujer:  Uncle Sal, our mom Olympia, and Aunt Margaret. Aunts Jennie and Barbara lived in apartments with their husbands, not too far away from the rest of the family.

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