Finally posting my first question, after answering many ;-)

The following 1940 census record from Bronx, New York has a comment written above Louis' name. It seems to start with "Party has" or "Party was" -- but I can't figure out the last two words.

Can anyone else decipher the comment?

Some additional info that may be helpful:

  1. Milton Davidoff is Louis' nephew -- he was living with the family and the circled X means he provided the household details to the census taker.

  2. Milton is on the last line of the page. Louis' mother-in-law Celia Clayman was also living with them and is listed first on the next page.

  3. Louis' occupation in this census is Retail Fisherman

  4. Louis died in 1943, just 3 years after this census was taken, at the young age of 40. So perhaps the comment might be related to him not living at home due to illness, being hospitalized, etc? For example, many people with tuberculosis went to special TB hospitals for long-term care.

Links to the complete image:


Louis Palefsky 1940 census

Louis Palefsky 1940 census - Enlarged

  • Don't you love the handwriting. They should've been pickier about their hiring criteria. – Ezri Rediker Dec 4 '12 at 6:54
  • Good question efgen, in my humble opinion writing a question is trickier. : } – Ezri Rediker Dec 4 '12 at 6:56
  • Could the third word be "marked"? – Gene Golovchinsky Dec 4 '12 at 7:17
  • A friend just suggested that the third word might be "moved" -- keeping that one in mind. – efgen Dec 4 '12 at 7:52
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    "Party has moved away"? – Gene Golovchinsky Dec 4 '12 at 8:44

Census page is Bronx, New York, ED 3-803, sheet 14A, family 49, lines 36-40, for those wanting see beyond the excerpts. Checked the entry above (Schuss, Blanche) for decending letters (none).

The note is "Party has moved away".

BTW, Ancestry has the head of household indexed as "Pady Louis Palefsky"

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Using my knowledge of census records I believe the census taker was writing "Party was numbered last". If I were transcribing this document however I'd note the last two words as undistinguishable.

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    Interesting guess, but what would that mean? That his name was written last? Not sure why the enumerator would comment on something like that, since if they had to skip a household for some reason, they always went back, and I've never seen that kind of comment. – efgen Dec 4 '12 at 7:20
  • I don't see it saying the party has moved away. I don't think they would've listed them if they had as well as the mark made that he'd given the info. As far as that goes it could be researched as possible. The party was numbered last could note the path he took and or where he stopped that day. All possible, I would'nt let this note bug me to much due to the poor writing this could turn into a debate that can't be won. – Ezri Rediker Dec 4 '12 at 14:42
  • Could be numerated as well. – Ezri Rediker Dec 4 '12 at 14:50
  • I don't think there are enough stroke changes for "numbered" or "numerated". – RobertShaw Dec 4 '12 at 22:05
  • Maybe so but the hand writing is poor. – Ezri Rediker Dec 5 '12 at 0:20

My first thoughts were:

Party [?]as [possibly]moved [?illegible]

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  • I agree with "party has moved," but I think the next part may indicate how long ago, such as "6 mos." – Eileen Eilis Morey Dec 4 '12 at 17:27
  • I'd go with "Party has moved now". This might be in reference to any follow-up check that might be made for verification. – RobertShaw Dec 4 '12 at 21:59
  • "Party has moved" is a popular suggestion (I posted the images to FB too). However, censuses are intended to be a snapshot of the population on a specific date. For 1940, that date was April 1, 1940. So there shouldn't be commentary on the census about someone moving since then -- and I've never seen such a comment on any other census page that I've looked at in my 10+ years doing genealogy. Also, it's only Louis' name that is boxed off with the comment, not the entire family. So if this is about him moving, I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around why the comment was written :-) – efgen Dec 5 '12 at 6:01
  • @efgen, I could make an argument purely from the text for "Party has moved here" if I had to guess the last word. – user104 Dec 5 '12 at 12:28
  • The instructions to the enumerators including documenting people at their usual residence and marking them as absent. Why the enumerator didn't use the proper notation is unknown, but would be in keeping with some of the interpretations of the note. – bgwiehle Dec 5 '12 at 14:35

I agree with "party has moved," but I think the next part may indicate how long ago, such as "6 mos."

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I am guessing "Party was husband here"

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  • I can't really see "husband", but the last word could be here. – American Luke Dec 6 '12 at 19:29
  • I like the idea and it could be party was husband here. good : } – Ezri Rediker Dec 8 '12 at 2:49
  • My immediate first impression for the third word was definitely "husband". The big looping ell above the second word makes the "h" look like "w", so I think the second word is really "has". My vote is "Party has husband here". – Witness Protection ID 44583292 Dec 19 '12 at 1:24

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