Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Using the 1940 Census to Build an Interesting Family History



All of the excitement around the April release of the 1940 Census has gotten me planning my and pre-researching to get a head start. What I am hoping the 1940 Census will do for me is add some additional color to my existing family history (actually I think there was a question about hair coloring on that census?). I hope to find out more about the living conditions of my family in 1940. I can use the addresses to do google street view searches to see whether their homes still stand today. I also hope to get additional names of children born to great-aunts and uncles after the 1930 Census for my Kapple/Kappel family. My Kapple grandparents divorced. My grandfather Rudolph remained in Chicago while my Granmother Dorothy Kapple relocatd with her children to Los Angeles, California. So the Kapples in California lost touch with their many Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins in Chicago. I have no pictures of the family in Chicago. I have only one faded picture of my Grandfather Rudolph. I would love to see more family pictures and hope that the 1940 might lead me to more living relatives.
1934 Passenger List
A much talked about relative of my Nicaraguan grandmother Graciela Del Castillo-Forgey is also a target of my 1940 research. His name was Francisco Antonio Alvarado Granzio. My grandmother nicknamed him Padrino meaning Godfather. Another of his nicknames was Pancho. He was born in Granada, Nicaragua in 1876. I've heard so many stories about. I've not been able to confirm them until a few days ago. I had been told he was a Diplomat and had met with FDR. I thought that was wonderful, and wanted to find out more. I've been searching off and on using Google search for years. Nothing was coming up about him. He had a Los Angeles home so I tried finding him on existing Censuses. I did seem to find him in 1920 but he was not listed as a Diplomat, instead, he was in the import/export business. I could not find him in 1930. Thinking about 1940 Census brought him to mind again. I decided to use my new access to New FamilySearch Tree to search him out there. I found something interesting that looked like him and contained his additional last name, which I did not know before i.e. Granzio. I immediately started searching using that name and found more information about him! I had not searched Ancestry for him in a long time. When I searched there this time I got a flood of matches for him.
The passenger lists at Ancestry are helping me to build a timeline for Francisco Alvarado. His occupation is given as Consul for Nicaragua in France in many of these records. They also confirm his residence in France as Nice, which I had been told. I even got his address 4 Rue La Martine.
This is where Franciso Alvarado lived in Nice
My family relayed many anecdotal stories about visiting "Padrino" at his Los Angeles home. He had a live in girl friend named Germaine who he met in Nice. She was always very well dressed as my mother has told me. She had a little lap dog which she was very fond of , and had a very fancy pillow for it which my mother remembers. My mother also remembered going to dinner at Padrino's house, and the fact he always served wine with dinner. She also remembered he enjoyed gardening. He attended one of the World's Fairs and brought back souvineers for the Forgey Children. He also brought back a Palm Tree from Nicaragua for my Grandparents Yard, which grew much taller than anyone expected!! He gave a trunk he traveled with to my family, which had stickers on it for all the locations he traveled to which included Asia.
He loved my Grandmother's Arroz con Pollo and insisted she prepare it for him when he was in town. She kidded him about being bald. She would say he used his brain too much which caused his hair to fall out.
I would love to learn more about "Padrino" his relationship to our family etc. ... I am hoping to add more to my collection of information about him with the 1940 Census. I am excited and hopeful he will be in it. I will eventually make a memorial page for him at Fold3. I consider him Mi Padrino tambien!

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