27 May 2012

1940 U.S. Census: Finding celebrities who are less than a wink in their father's eye

There are just some names that are so unusual that one cannot forget them. When I lived in Albuquerque I was a big fan of the Dukes, the top farm team of baseball's Los Angeles Dodgers. They had awesome pitching. Along with Fernando Valenzuela, they also has Orel L. Hershiser. What a name!

And what a name to find whilst indexing the Erie County, New York 1940 U.S. Census pages!  E.D. 15-153, sheet 4B, family 129, lines 60-64. My first thought was "Hershiser, Orel L.?" What!?!

Screen shot (27 May 2012): 1940 U.S. Census, New York, Erie County, ED 15-153, sheet 4B, (FamilySearch.org)
Orel L. Herschiser was 35 in April 1940, was married to Marjorie (27) and lived with his children: Orel L, Jr. (age 7), Marjorie Ann (6) and John W. (7 months old). They lived at 289 Nassau Avenue, Kenmore, New York. Just a little north of Buffalo. They owned their home which they reported as worth $9,000.

289 Nassau Ave, Kenmore, NY (from Google Maps)

Turns out that this Orel was the grandfather of the famous LA Dodgers pitcher. His 7 year old son, Orel, Jr (actually Orel, III) later married Mildred and had Orel Hershiser IV in 1958 Buffalo.

I'd been thinking that it would be cool while indexing to locate a celebrity living in NY in 1940. Little did I know I'd find the family of a celebrity more than 18 years before his was born!

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