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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 15, 2013/ 4 Shevat, 5773

It's amazing what you can learn about your family in the 1940s census! Here's why

By Tom Purcell




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | My great-grandmother Jane Purcell had a wonderfully full life. Part of her story is revealed in the 1940 U.S. Census, which the National Archives and Records Administration made available online to the public in 2012 at 1940census.archives.gov .

In 1940, Jane and some of her extended family resided at 1509 Orchlee in Brighton Heights. She was 71 then and listed as "head of house." Her place of birth was listed as "France."

She was born in Alsace-Lorraine, after all, and came to America with her family as a girl. Her parents ran a North Side tavern. That‘s where Jane met her husband, Thomas Purcell, an Irish immigrant who would become a mill foreman.

Jane and Tom married in 1886, when Jane was 18. They would have seven daughters and one son — and face their share of loss.

One daughter, Adele, died in 1891, at age 3. A second, Stella, died in 1916, at 19. A third, Mary, would give birth to sons Johnny in 1909 and Thomas in 1911, but Thomas would die in 1912 — and Mary would be taken the following year, at 25. Jane would take her grandson Johnny in and raise him.

In 1927, Jane would lose her husband to cancer. He was 65. They‘d had a good life and he‘d provided well for her.

She was 59 then and fortunate that her only son, Tom Purcell Jr. — my grandfather — would help support her. A charming fellow with a head for numbers, he would soon become a personal accountant working directly for the Mellon family. He‘d marry my grandmother Beatrice and have two children, my Aunt Jane and my father, Tom.

The stock market would crash in 1929 and Jane‘s family would suffer its effects. With companies going under and jobs being lost, her children and their children would be forced to share homes — some moved back in with her.

Her son Tom was a savior during these years. He enjoyed a secure income, though he spent much of it providing shoes and other necessities for his mother, siblings, nieces and nephews.

But in 1937, Jane would lose her only son, too. My grandfather died of strep throat at the young age of 34, a tremendous blow to Jane and her family.

All of this took place before the 1940 census. The Depression lingered and many households were comprised of extended-family members living together to make ends meet. According to the 1940 census, Great-Grandma Jane‘s household included:


  • Her youngest daughter, Jean, 29, whose occupation was listed as "stenographer." She earned $900 that year.

  • Her grandson Johnny, 31, a carpenter by trade, who could find no work in his field. My grandfather had gotten him a job as a bank guard. He listed his income as $2,506.

  • Her daughter, Helen, 47, and Helen‘s husband, Cornelius, 48. Cornelius was a pattern maker, also unable to find work in his field. His occupation was listed as "substitute teacher," his income as $1,100.

  • Helen and Cornelius‘ sons, Jack, 12, and Tom, 10 — now 85 and 83.


Jack told me the house was always full of activity. There was always someone at home. Every other Saturday, all of Jane‘s remaining children and their children would gather. As the adults played cards upstairs, the children played in the fruit cellar in the basement.

Jane managed one department-store credit card for her daughters and, at those gatherings, anyone who‘d used it needed to "settle up." Jane complained how her daughters, the younger generation, were so frivolous with spending.

When Jane and her family participated in the 1940 census, they had no idea that the country would soon enter the Second World War, that her grandson Johnny would be drafted early (he would make it home) or that her son-in-law Cornelius would soon be working so many hours as a pattern maker — in support of the war effort — that he and Helen would save enough money to buy their own house in 1943.

When they did, Great-Grandma Jane would sell her old home, which held a million wonderful memories. She‘d share the proceeds with her children. She‘d move in with Cornelius, Helen and their sons. Her grandson Johnny would move in with them when he returned from the war.

For the next four years, she‘d enjoy the company of her children and grandchildren, most of whom lived within blocks and would visit her often. Her health suffered during her last few years, and in 1947, she died quietly at home at the age of 78.

So there you have it: a snapshot of the wonderfully full life experienced by my Great-Grandma Purcell — a snapshot made possible, in part, by the 1940 census.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR Contributor Tom Purcell, author of 'Misadventures of a 1970's Childhood,' is a nationally syndicated columnist. Comment by clicking here. To visit his web site, click here.


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