findmypast logo

Who we have found in the 1940 census

Dick Clark

In honor of his passing, here is Dick Clark in 1940.

Click below to view the full image.

Judy Garland

Judy Garland at age 17 is living with her mother, Ethel and sister, Sue. She was listed as making over $5,000 a year. 

Her mother, Ethel provided the information for the family, which lists both Sue and Judy as actresses in the motion picture industry. Two individuals on each census page were selected to answer supplementary questions, and in this case Judy Garland was asked a series of additional questions that reveals that she did have a social security number and, at age 17 was having wages deducted from her paycheck.

Click below to view the full image.

Martin Luther King Jr.

In his humble home at 501 Auburn Avenue, Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King, Jr. appears at age 11 with this parents and grandmother in the 1940 census.

Click below to view the full image.

James Dean

Hollywood’s rebel, James Dean at age 9 is living with his parents at 1422 23rd Street in Santa Monica, California (only a block from findmypast’s current offices). See where James Dean lived in 1940. The enumeration references the family’s move from Indiana to California, as it notes they were living in Marion, Indiana in 1935, where James was born in 1931.  A few short weeks after this enumeration, James would tragically lose his mother to cancer and be sent to live with his aunt and uncle in Indiana. 

Click below to view the full image.

Tom Brokaw

The man who coined the phrase “The Greatest Generation” appears as an infant with his parents as a “permanent guest” in Bristol City, South Dakota. 

Click below to view the full image.

Marilyn Monroe

Here is Marilyn Monroe, enumerated as “Norma Jean Baker,” age 13 in an apartment on Nebraska Avenue in Los Angeles. Her mother, Grace is listed with her husband (at the time) Ervin Goddard and she is a “ward,”

According to one researcher, Norma Jeane "Marilyn" lived off-and-on with Grace, sometimes while Grace was married to Ervin. Norma also lived in foster homes and an orphanage as well. It was during her last time living with Grace that Norma was encouraged to marry her then-boyfriend James Dougherty. By 1950 Grace and Ervin are back living together in Los Angeles. Ervin died in 1972 in Ventura County, I'm not yet sure when and where Grace died, but she is apparently buried near Marilyn.

Click below to view the full image.

Walt Disney

Owner and founder of what would become an American Tradition.

Click below to view the full image.

Nancy Pelosi

Just a few weeks old, former Speaker of the House is Nancy Pelosi (listed her with her given name “Annunciata”) is seen with her family in Baltimore. Already showing their strong political roots, her brother is clearly identified as Franklin Roosevelt D'Alesandro.

Click below to view the full image.

Shirley Temple

Clearly the breadwinner of the family - the young Shirely Temple reports her income is over $5,000 a year.

Click below to view the full image.

The Fonda Family

Commentary: An extremely talented family. Notice that the enumerator took the time to spell two-year old Jane Fonda’s name as it was when she was born, as Jayne. 

Click below to view the full image.

Chuck Norris

The Ray D. Norris household consisted of Ray D. Norris, age 21, Wilma Norris, age 18 and Carlos Ray Norris who was an infant. Ray was the head of household, Wilma was his wife, and Carlos was his son. Ray and Wilma were married.

The family lived in Ryan City, but did not have a house number listed in this census. Their home was rented and the monthly rent was $6.00.

Click below to view the full image.

Boris Karloff

Don’t let this entry scare you! Boris Karloff’s famous – and iconic - interpretation of Frankenstein (1931) still terrifies audiences today. Karloff also narrated the classic animated holiday special, How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Click below to view the full image.

Charles Boyer

The four-time Academy Award nominated actor is enumerated with his English wife, and fellow actress, Pat Paterson.

Click below to view the full image.

Charlie Chaplin

The famed silent film star was likely hard at work on his first talking picture “The Great Dictator,” which would be release in October 1940. His neighbor? None other than the great Fred Astaire.

Click below to view the full image.

Fred Astaire

The famed dancer and actor, Fred Astaire is living with his wife, son Fred and step-son Peter Potter. His neighbor? None other than Charlie Chaplin himself.

Click below to view the full image.

Ginger Rogers

Fred Astaire’s dancing partner appears to be living alone in her home at 1605 Gilcrest Drive. The star was likely separated from her second husband, actor Lew Ayres (whom she would divorce in 1941).

Click below to view the full image.

James Cagney

Known as one of Hollywood’s roughest movie stars, had moved (at least once) since 1935, according to the census.

Click below to view the full image.

Samuel Goldwyn

The prolific film producer’s wife was selected to answer a few supplemental questions in 1940 and noted that she did not (yet) have a social security number.

Click below to view the full image.

Tina Turner

Here is the Private Dancer herself, Tina Turner (she is Anna Bullock) in 1940.

Click below to view the full image.

Gerald Ford

We met the challenge posted by the Ford Presidential Library and located the future U.S. President Gerald R. Ford, listed as a football coach living with his parents in the 1940 census.

Click below to view the full image.

Harry Reid

 

Click below to view the full image.

Joseph Bromberg

 

Click below to view the full image.

Lionel Barrymore

 

Click below to view the full image.

Nancy Kelley

 

Click below to view the full image.

Eddie Cantor

 

Click below to view the full image.

Greer Garson

 

Click below to view the full image.

Jack Warner

 

Click below to view the full image.

Jules Styne

 

Click below to view the full image.

J. Edgar Hoover

Here is J. Edgar Hoover, living at 413 Seward Square in Washington, D.C. shortly after the death of his mother. He clearly states his occupation as “Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation.”

Click below to view the full image.


Tell us who you want to find in the 1940 census and we will email you as soon as their records become available

Let us find them for you