Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

Randy Seaver over at Genea-Musings is hosting another Saturday Night Genealogy Fun.  I liked this one and had some time and decided to play along.

Tonight's Game is Ancestral Name Roulette:

First you take the year of your parental grandfather's birth, divide it by 100.  This is the roulette number.  My parental grandfather was born in 1891, divided by 100 = 18.91 or 19. 

On my genealogy program the person on the name list with number 19 is Emma Hartmann my great aunt.  She is not to be confused with my Aunt Em that I have written about on this blog. 

The third step is to tell you three facts about this person.  I look at her name and I think I know nothing about this Great Aunt. 

As I looked at my files I realized I do know a couple of things about her.

I found her on the 1900 US Census.  This census is very special to me, as it was the first one I ever looked up and actually found someone on it I knew.  I had looked for my father found him, it was a thrilling moment, as only those first moments can be.

So back to great aunt Emma:
  1. She was 14 in 1900 Census,
  2. She was born in July of 1885. 
  3. She was the oldest girl of six children but the third child. 
  4. She lived in Ward 1, Borough of Queens, New York. 
  5. Five kids lived at home with a widowed father.
  6. Her occupation is listed as Paper Boxes. 

I had never heard of Wards until I read this census. 

I did a Google search and this is what I found:

New York City used to have political designations called wards, which were the smallest political units in NYC. Each ward elected an alderman and an assistant alderman to the City Council.

According to The Encyclopedia Of New York City (1995, Yale University Press) the system goes all the way back to 1686, when Governor Thomas Dongan divided the city, then entirely in Manhattan, into six wards. In 1791, wards were given numerical designations.
The First Ward was the tip of Manhattan, and districts were given consecutive numbers the further north you went in Manhattan. New wards were added as the city expanded northward,and increasing
population of the older wards required subdivision.
The "ward boss", the local provider of patronage and vote gatherer, was a most important element in the power of Tammany Hall, the pre-eminent political machine in the latter half of the 19th
Century. Ward politics diminished in stature beginning with the 20th Century, and wards were formally abolished in 1938.
Brooklyn was also composed of wards. When it became a city in 1837, it was divided into nine wards, and by the time of consolidation with New York City in 1898 it had 32 wards.
1900 Manhattan Wards
Picture from the link below 1890 Map
So this turned out to be fun and informative.  Thanks Randy, maybe I should play more often.  

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