Thursday, April 5, 2012

1940 US Federal Census and Laverne Putney (1906-1976)

I had my first success with the newly release images for the 1940 US Federal Census. It took a few hours to decipher enumeration maps, collude with relatives regarding alternative potential addresses and scan through a few hundred images, I was able to find the entry for Laverne and Eleanor Putney, My Great Aunt and her husband.

Laverne and Eleanor had just gotten married in Brooklyn in 1939 and in 1941 he joined the army as a MP. In 1940 we find him back home (Batavia), living on Prospect Avenue and working as a Prison Guard at the State Prison. (Note of interest that Eleanor's grandfather had build San Quentin Prison in California.)

Enumeration Map for Batavia:

Census Record:

I used the National Archives to download the Descriptions and Maps and to look at the actual census pages. Another tool that is useful to decipher Enumeration District maps here.

Laverne5 Putney (Addis4 Zimri3 Joseph2 John1)

Laverne was born in Genesee County, New York on 7 Mar 1906 to Addis Charney Putney and Ethel House. He grew up the son of a farmer on Bank Street Road and went to Batavia High School, graduating in 1924. Laverne then attended Syracuse University studying Forestry and graduated in 1930. About 1933 he started working as a guard at Attica State Prison near Batavia. In 1939 he married Eleanor Estill Congdon at the "Church of the Pilgrims" in Brooklyn, NY and returned to Batavia with his wife to live and continue working at the prison. He joined the army in 1941 as a private in the Military Police first stationed at Fort Niagara and then Pine Camp (Now called Camp Drum in upstate NY). He continued to work at the prison after the army and also farmed his land on the Alexander Rd. outside Batavia. Laverne had 3 children, all living. In 1963 he retired from the prison after 30 years. He died 5 July 1976 and is buried at Elmwood Cemetery in Batavia NY along with his parents and wife.

Individual Facts:

Name: Laverne Putney
Sex: Male
Father: PUTNEY, Addis Charney
Mother: HOUSE, Ethel

Birth: 7 Mar 1906 in Genesee County New York
Census: 1910 in Batavia, Genesee, New York
Census: 1920 in Alexander, Genesee, New York
Graduation: 1924 from Batavia High School
Census: 1930 in Batavia, Genesee, New York
Graduation: 1930 from Syracuse University in Undergraduate Forestry
Occupation: Prison Guard at Attica State Prison
Marriage: 18 Nov 1939 in Brooklyn NY to Eleanor Estill CONGDON
Census: 1940 in Batavia, Genesee, New York
Military: Apr 1941 in Buffalo, NY
Retirement: 1963 in Batavia, Genesee, New York
Death: 1 Jul 1976 in Alexander, Genesee, New York


1910 United States Federal Census
1920 United States Federal Census
1930 United States Federal Census
1940 United States Federal Census
Roster from the 1924 Batavia High School Yearbook
Social Security Death Index
U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946