Who lived in your house in 1940?

When the 1940 Census data came online this week, the first address I went looking for was the house where I used to live in north Minneapolis. I knew that the house was built in the ’20s, so I hoped it wasn’t vacant when the Census takers knocked on the door.

It turns out there was a family living there, Harry, 55, and Anna Buck, 52. Both were born in Pennsylvania. Harry was a vacuum cleaner salesman, though he listed his usual occupation as “Presbyterian minister.” He worked 48 hrs a week. He earned $1,200 in 1939. The Bucks paid $38/mo. rent. Harry had five years of college, Anna had four years of high school education.

The Bucks had two daughters — Lucy, 20 and Margaret, 17. Both single. Lucy was born in Ohio, Margaret in Minnesota. Lucy worked as a file clerk and labeler at a school library and earned $33 in 1939. Margaret made $15, but how she earned that money was not specified.

I found a telephone listing for a Margaret Buck who was born in 1922 – which would have put her at 17 years of age around Census time. The number I called was disconnected.