Just ASK: 1940 Census Inmate

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 Shirley Childress provided insight for last week’s Just Ask question about the 1940 Census.

Childress, who has been doing genealogical research for 13 years, said the term “inmate” was not always used in the past as it is today. The term was used also for other types of institutions.

For instance, in her research, she came across an orphanage that listed the children as “inmates.”

The question was: In the 1940 Census for Kentucky, there is a line for Magistrate District #1, Hodgenville, Household 288, for 30-year-old, single, Flora C. Northcraft.

She is listed as head of household with an occupation of “assistant bookkeeper for general insurance.” Also, in the same house are five males, ages 27 to 48 – three white and two black – that are listed as inmates. If it were the county jail, shouldn’t the jailer be listed as the head of the household?

The Census can be found at http://www.familysearch.org/.