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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Jim McAnney - Census Detective

Last week I published a link to the 1940 Bass River Township Census. I hope everyone out in the Blog-O-Sphere with Bass River roots found the names of family and friends among the lists. The information should also be helpful to those working on their Bass River family tree.

I should have cautioned those of you who are not familiar with doing census data research that census information is not always complete and can contain errors. The information is only as accurate as the reliability of the census taker and the information provided by the informant in the household. Families can be missed and errors in name spellings and personal information occasionally occur.

Jim McAnney, one of our regular Blog Readers with roots in Bass River, was quick to notice families that were incomplete or omitted entirely from the census. Following is Jim's email listing some omissions that he is aware of. If anyone else out in the Blog-O-Sphere is aware of other omissions or mistakes in the 1940 census data, I would appreciate hearing from you. It would be helpful if you could provide the street where the family lived.

Pete S


I can come up with at least 15 names that I think should have been in the census. I’m sure there are more but I came up with these.  Les Allen’s wife and any children that were born by 1940.  Edna Adams (Walter Adam’s wife).  I don’t know when he died but she was living living in the house when I was young.  Walter (Ditty) Loveland, the Leepas, Reuben McAnney, the Lemunyon family, the Sooy family, Harry Allen and family, and the Jack Wiseman family. 


PS- I see that Beverly Robinson also noticed some census omissions and errors regarding her Bass River ancestors, as posted in her comments to the April 5th Blog entry on the 1940 census (reproduced below). Both she and Jim noticed the Leepa family omission. Sherlock Holmes had his Watson, Batman had his Robin and, now it appears, that Census Detective Jim McAnney also has an assistant -Deputy Census Detective Beverly Robibnson. What a team!

Hi Pete: Thanks for posting the census. One problem; I cannot find a listing for the Leepa family. I looked at names, place of birth and language and no Leepas. Could their farm be considered a part of another township or something? I also find it interesting that my mother Pauline and her younger sister Julia are listed as servants??? I know my mother worked in Phila. as a maid for a while but the listing indicated she was living at home at the time. A mystery. Thanks again. Beverly Mathis Robinson


  1. It would be interesting to find a 1940 telephone directory from our area and compare the Bass River names with the 1940 census. Can anyone out in the Blog-O-Sphere put their hands on one?

    Pete S

  2. And here I was thinking the omission of the Leepa family was maybe a case of discrimination. But, no, at least. I know both the elder Leepas were from Russia and do not know where I got that information-1930 census maybe?
    A 1940 directory would be a treasure.
    Beverly Mathis Robinson

    1. I just came across this site when I was looking for info on our Twp. board of commissioners. Time does not permit me to peruse this site now, but I will bookmark it. My husband's grandparents, John and Anna Leepa, were from Latvia and, therefore, spoke Latvian. We now live on the Leepa Farm.
      Maureen Schweiker

  3. Maureen,

    Good to hear from you. I would be glad to hear any stories you may have on the Leepa family, their roots, and how they ended up in New Gretna. Old family photos would also be great!

    Pete S

  4. My interest in the Leepa farm dates back to about 1940 when I was left in their care while my mother worked in the Norfolk Naval Shipyards and my stepfather was in the navy. I am more than interested in any photos you might have. I was given a few back in 1958 when I last visited the Leepas but realize I am missing a few to round out my collection. I do not have any of Millie (Mildred). I also do not have any of Herb Nitowski (Alice's husband.) And, of course, any of me would be welcome. Who were your parents.
    Thank you for your reply.
    Beverly Mathis Robinson