Sunday afternoon Genealogy Fun

Sunday Afternoon Genealogy Fun – Where Were Your Ancestors 80 Years Ago

Each week on Randy Seaver’s Genea-musings blog he has a post for Saturday night Genealogy fun. Because of the time difference, I have called my series Sunday Afternoon Genealogy Fun. This week’s mission was:

1) Determine where your ancestral families were on 1 April 1940 – 80 years ago when the U.S. census was taken.


2)  List them, their family members, their birth years, and their residence location (as close as possible).  Do you have a photograph of their residence from about that time, and does the residence still exist?


3)  Tell us all about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook Status post.

1 My father, Ivon Walter Whimpey (1923-2009), was living at 63 Brown Street, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia with his parents, (my grandparents), John Ernest Whimpey (1884-1960) and Ivy May Harley (1890-1959), and his brothers, Alan Arthur (1917-1990), John Harrie (1919-2002), Keith Harley (1920-2009), and his sister, Dorothy Edna (1927-2019).  I don’t have a photo of the residence at the time, and I’m not sure if the house is the same one that exists today.

2 My mother, Edith Jean Marr (1922-1990), was living with her father (my grandfather) Wilfred Palmer Marr (1892-1955), at 58 Lothian Street, North Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.  Her sister, Margaret Amelia (1924-2009), and brother Aubrey Ronald (1926-1996) were also living there, along with mum’s aunt, Amelia Marr (1885-1954).  I do have a photo of this residence, taken at about the time it was built, with my great grandmother Mary Reeves Marr (1864-1951), and her mother Mary Gill Reeves (1829-1903). standing in front of it.  The house is not now still standing. 

58 Lothian St North Melbourne On left Mary Marr, nee Reeves, On right her mother Mary Reeves, nee Gill

3 My maternal grandmother, Edith Meriden Docwra (1904-1948) may have been living at 63 Hawksburn Road, South Yarra, Victoria, Australia, or with her sister, Anne Eileen Docwra Lade (1909-1997), at Warrandyte Road, Baxter, Victoria, Australia.  I don’t have a photo of either of these houses or know whether they are still standing.

4 My paternal great grandmother, Henrietta Louisa Russell (1865-1949) was living on the family farm “Hazel Glen” in Woolamai, Victoria, Australia, with her son Cecil Rupert Harley (1896-1977) and her daughter Dorothy Agnes Harley (1907-1976).  I don’t have a photo of the house.  The house burnt down in a fire, and a new house has since been built.

5 My maternal great grandparents, Henry Palmer Marr (1859-1944) and Mary Reeves (1864-1951), were living in Baxter, Victoria, Australia. I don’t know the exact location where they were living or if the house still exists.

I also have 9 direct ancestors who were living at this time, 80 years ago. Two parents, 4 grandparents, and 3 great grandparents.                  

Since my family were from Australia, I have used the closest we have – the 1939 Electoral roll.  I haven’t been able to narrow down where my grandmother, Edith Meriden Docwra, was living in 1939, as the last Electoral roll I have been able to find her on was in 1936, when she was with her sister at Baxter.  The next record I have for her is her death certificate from 1948, which shows her residence at that time was 63 Hawksburn Road, South Yarra.

2 thoughts on “Sunday Afternoon Genealogy Fun – Where Were Your Ancestors 80 Years Ago

  1. I haven’t checked a census but this has been a fun mental exercise. Both of my parents were born in October so I’ve been thinking about them a lot. Tomorrow, my mother would have turned 95. I’m quite sure that on April 1, 1940, they were both living with their respective parents in Detroit, MI. My father’s family lived on a street called Beechdale, my mother’s on Elmira.

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  2. I love the photo of 58 Lothian Street. I’ve been lucky enough to visit Australia and the British influence on architecture is quite evident.

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