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Overheard in GenForum: Lundstrom in Mass.
by Rhonda R. McClure

Each week Rhonda answers a question from the GenForum message boards and gives her expert answer here. We'd love to hear anything you have to add. Go ahead and leave your comments on GenForum with the original message.

January 10, 2002
See Rhonda's Previous Columns

Q: For a friend I'm looking for "Uncle" O. Lundstrom, Everett Mass. Passenger list told me he lived there in 1908. No date of birth, no immigration date. Anyone come across that name ? -- Dan

A: There are a couple of ways you can approach this research problem. Through the use of conventional census records you may be able to find the new immigrant living with Uncle Lundstrom. Another approach would be to see what other records you can use to get that date more closely to the date of arrival of the immigrant.

It is possible that your research may require some elimination of individuals. This means researching each O. Lundstrom that is found in Everett, Massachusetts. If you were working in one of the states known for the heavy immigration of Scandinavians, this might prove to be an insurmountable task, however, I do not think you will find it to be as difficult in Everett, Massachusetts.

City directories and census may hold the clue.

City Directories

City directories are often overlooked. People dismiss them as just an alphabetical listing of individuals. They feel they can learn nothing from the directory if they already know where the person lived. This is a mistake. City directories can tell us much more than simply supporting the residency of an ancestor. However, in your case, this is exactly what you need from the city directory.

Unlike the census, which is taken every ten years, city directories are published annually. This allows you to fill in the years between census on ancestors. In some cases it can allude to the death of a spouse, especially the husband, as women are often listed with "(widow of)" after their name with the given name of the husband. Such a valuable resource comes in handy when trying to determine when an ancestor died.

In your case, the city directory would help you by allowing you to see who is living in Everett in 1908, the year the immigrant who was going to stay with "Uncle" Lundstrom appears. Actually you would want to see if you could find both the 1908 and the 1909 city directories. It is possible that in the 1909 the immigrant himself would appear in the alphabetical listing. If he was still living with his uncle, then with the address you would have a better chance of making the connection without question.

Census Records

Since the immigrant arrived in 1908, the logical step would be to search the 1910 census. Unfortunately there is no Soundex for Massachusetts in 1910. This generally makes searching the census more difficult, especially when working with a large city.

The city of Everett is comprised of six wards in 1910. Those six wards are divided into 15 enumeration districts. Not an insurmountable task, though because of the arrangement of the enumeration districts on the microfilm, you would actually need to look at two rolls of microfilm.

The 1910 Census is found on National Archives microfilm publication T624, comprising 1,784 rolls of microfilm, excluding the Soundex rolls. The state of Massachusetts can be found on rolls 571 through 633. The county of Middlesex is found on rolls 595 through 607.

The town of Everett is divided among enumeration districts 801 to 815. Because of the way the enumeration districts are arranged for Middlesex County, you will need the following rolls of microfilm

  • 597 - Middlesex (EDs 765-769, 786-790, 801-811, 1939) County.
  • 598 - Middlesex (EDs 812-831) County.

A Possibility

The 1900 census was Soundexed for Massachusetts. While this is eight years before the arrival of the immigrant in question, it would give you an idea of how many Lundstroms were living in Everett in 1900.

A search of the 1900 Soundex revealed one Olof Lundstrom in Everett. Olof is found in Middlesex County, ED 750, sheet 9, line 95. Olof is a 42 years old. He has been married for four years. His wife says she is the mother of one. There is a daughter aged three, and a son age 13. This leads me to believe that Olof is on a second marriage. Also living in the house is a nephew. Olof was born in Sweden and immigrated in 1891. He is naturalized. His nephew, who is 17, was born in Sweden and immigrated in 1900.

This could prove to be the uncle in question. Future research would be necessary.

In Conclusion

The census and city directories combined should help with this research in determining who the uncle is. Then it might be possible to discover just how the uncle is related.

See Rhonda's Previous Columns

Rhonda R. McClure is a professional genealogist specializing in celebrity trees and computerized genealogy. She has been involved in online genealogy for fifteen years. She is the author of the award-winning The Complete Idiot's Guide to Online Genealogy, now in its second edition. She is the author of four how-to guides on Family Tree Maker. In late 2001, she wrote The Genealogist's Computer Companion. She is a contributing editor to Biography Magazine with her "Celebrity Roots" column and a contributing writer to The History Channel Magazine. Her latest book is Finding Your Famous and Infamous Ancestors. She may be contacted at rhondagen@thegenealogist.com.

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