If I had known that the 1940 census would be this interesting I would have started looking at it a lot sooner.
The last piece I posted for this blog was about my husband’s family’s appearance in the 1940 census and a surprise it held. I made the point that although we think we know everything about people with whom we lived or whom our parents knew well, there are always things we don’t know.
I got quite the surprise when I looked for my family. My grandparents, my aunts and uncles and older cousins are all in the census, all living in Philadelphia, but there is an extra son in my Aunt Ethel’s family. Anomalies in the census always raise the question is it real or is it a mistake of the census taker, is it a disinterested lie to get the census taker out the door or an intentional falsehood for who knows what reason. .
Here are the lines from the census.
There are my aunt and uncle and the two sons I know well, my cousins Marvin and Dan, but between them is Morris who my aunt reported was her son.
Morris isn’t there in the 1930 census, just Marvin and Dan. I checked with my older cousins, no one remembers another son.
I have spent a little time looking for Morris Kessler, but I haven’t found anyone who seems related to my family. So, who is Morris? Is he a real person who lived for some time with my aunt and uncle or was he just another kid hanging out in the house when the census taker arrived?