Lewis Brown: 1940 US Census and Marriage correction

Louise Long and Lewis Brown
Louise and Lewis Brown
About 1942, Still Newlyweds

As I posted previously, my maternal grandfather Lewis Brown married Louise Long on 27 Feb 1940. That date didn’t seem wrong until I found Lewis and Louise living in separate homes during the 1940 US Census.

Lewis was living with his widowed mother. He was a truck driver for a retail bakery.

Lewis Brown iin 1940 US Census
Family Search, 1940 United States Census, Record for Lewis Brown.

Louise was living with her sister Marguerite Frohnauer who was married to Frank and had a one-year-old named Barbara. Both of her parents had died prior to 1940. Louise was working as a clerk for a retail store.

Louise Long in 1940 US Census
Family Search, 1940 United States Census, Record for Louise Long

The date of the US Census was April 1, 1940. The fact that my grandparents were married in February and then not in the same home in April bugged me. My grandparents adored each other throughout their life. Did they get off to a rocky start, saying they were single just a few months later?

After looking at their marriage license and certificate, the situation became perfectly clear.

Partial scan of the original document
Marriage Record of Lewis Brown and Louise Long

A simple mistake was being perpetuated. The couple married on 27 February 1941, not 1940. They were in the homes they were supposed to be found on 1 April 1940. They still may have had a ‘rocky’ start to their marriage, but according to census records and marriage certificates, there is no evidence to that fact. I’m so glad. (Oh, and my sweet aunt confirmed the fact after the first post was published. More sources, more strength to the argument?)

It just goes to show that one must check and recheck facts to determine accuracy.

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee is passionate about capturing and preserving family stories so no one alive today has to be researched, or forgotten, tomorrow. She has authored 6 how-to books, a memoir, two published family history biographies, and over 60 family scrapbooks. She's an enthusiastic speaker who energizes, encourages, and educates at the same time.

3 thoughts on “Lewis Brown: 1940 US Census and Marriage correction

  1. Hi Devon, hope you're having a great new year so far. Good catch with your grandparents' marriage date… census records are so helpful. They can be filled with errors, but there's no mistake when the people in question are living in two separate households! Another thing I've found with census records is that it wasn't terribly unusual for people back then to be enumerated more than once. You've actually inspired me to write about my 2x great-grandfather, who appeared twice in both the 1880 AND 1900 censuses.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *