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. Commented Dec 4, 2012 at 6:54
  • Good question efgen, in my humble opinion writing a question is trickier. : } Commented Dec 4, 2012 at 6:56
  • Could the third word be "marked"? Commented Dec 4, 2012 at 7:17
  • A friend just suggested that the third word might be "moved" -- keeping that one in mind.
    – efgen
    Commented Dec 4, 2012 at 7:52
  • 2
    "Party has moved away"? Commented Dec 4, 2012 at 8:44

5 Answers 5


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"


I am guessing "Party was husband here"

  • I can't really see "husband", but the last word could be here.
    – Luke_0
    Commented Dec 6, 2012 at 19:29
  • I like the idea and it could be party was husband here. good : } Commented Dec 8, 2012 at 2:49
  • 1
    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". Commented Dec 19, 2012 at 1:24

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.

  • 1
    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
    Commented Dec 4, 2012 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. Commented Dec 4, 2012 at 14:42
  • Could be numerated as well. Commented Dec 4, 2012 at 14:50
  • I don't think there are enough stroke changes for "numbered" or "numerated".
    – RobertShaw
    Commented Dec 4, 2012 at 22:05
  • Maybe so but the hand writing is poor. Commented Dec 5, 2012 at 0:20

My first thoughts were:

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

  • I agree with "party has moved," but I think the next part may indicate how long ago, such as "6 mos." Commented Dec 4, 2012 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
    Commented Dec 4, 2012 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
    Commented Dec 5, 2012 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
    Commented Dec 5, 2012 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
    Commented Dec 5, 2012 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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