Mayflower Connection

So, the 1940 Census is finally up on ancestry.com as well as free at the National Archives Site. Currently, it is browse-able (ie if you know the district or address you can look for your family members). Alas, the two I have tried for were not listed even when I know their address. Occasionally, people are missed, out of town or refuse to talk to the Census person.

As of today, two states are indexed on ancestry.com (ie someone when thru the documents and typed them into a database so you can type your family members name into a search and it pulls up for you). Right now it is just Nevada and Delaware (those lucky Mormons with their love of genealogy). Other states will come along soon enough.

What to do in the mean time? Well, work on other family history research, of course. I’ve had a productive research day so I thought I’d briefly go through how I took a distant relative from merely a survivor’s name in a 1960s obit in the NY Times all the way back to the Mayflower in 1620, all in a matter of hours.

So, I began with Reuben Warner III (born 1898) who is one of my great great uncles. Interesting fact, Reuben was a friend and rival of F. Scott Fitzgerald while growing up in St. Paul. and apparently Fitzgerald based the character of Hubert Blair of the Basil Duke Lee stories on Reuben. Reuben had a second wife named Janet Snow according to his obit in the NY Times in 1966. His blurb is rather detailed as he was a wealthy insurance man from a well-established family. I’ve had her name on my tree for a few years but as I was then mainly interested in the Warner side, I hadn’t done much digging. This time, I was looking for Warners in the 1940 Census and looking at the 1930s Census to try to reference their possible address. Searching for Janet Snow on ancestry.com brought up her Passport Application from 1922 with a photo even, granted a poor quality B&W. So her name was actually Frances Janet Snow or possible Janet Frances Snow. Her reason for the application is listed as going to France on the American Women’s Track Team in the first international track competition for women. It also thankfully lists her father’s name as she was only 17 at the time. Her father being Elbridge Gerry Snow Jr, so that takes care of her father and grandfather’s name.

A quick search of her father’s name on ancestry.com brought up his info and a whole bunch of info on his ancestors.  According to the Census, her father was also a wealthy insurance man born in 1867 in Connecticut and his father was born in Connecticut in 1841. Turns out her grandfather was also a Jr (technically making Janet’s father Eldridge Gerry Snow III) and the original Eldridge was born in Massachusetts in 1811. Records also reveal that Janet’s grandmother and her father’s first wife were also named Frances which might explain why Janet went by her middle name rather than Frances.

Thankfully, ancestry.com has Hints that link my tree to other people’s trees with similar information. So, it was relatively easy to link into Snow family trees and pull in various Census and International Marriage Records, etc. The Snows go all the way back to the early Massachusetts in 1623 when Nicholas Snow (or Snowe) came over from England on a ship called Anne. Nicolas married Constance Hopkins who had come over on the Mayflower when she was 14 years old.

Ancestry.com even has a collection of London, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials 1538-1812. These are scans of church records. One is even for Nicholas Snowe from 1599 in Shoreditch, England. I’m glad their indexers can read the handwriting as I certainly cannot make most of it out.

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