May 23, 2018
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1940 Census question: Where did you live in 1935?

Roxanne Moore Saucier
By Roxanne Moore Saucier, BDN Columnist

Same place? Same house? Somewhere else?

A new question on the 1940 Census of the United States asked, “In what place did this person live on April 1, 1935?” In other words, where did he or she live five years before the 1940 Census was enumerated?

Let’s go back to Abbot, where my dad and his siblings were the youngest of four generations in the Bennett household near the Moosehorns on the Abbot road to Monson Junction.

The youths’ grandmother Rena Bennett and great-grandmother Mary Lord each were marked as living in the “same house” as in 1935. The house had been in the family since 1868, when Sumner R. and Roxana (Briggs) Bennett moved there from Monson. Their son Walter, who married Rena Bennett in 1902, was 3 when the family moved to the home. He died in 1935.

Ione (Bennett) Moore, Rena’s daughter, and children Gayland, Carroll, Roderick and Mary were listed as living in the “same place” in 1935, meaning the same town. I don’t know where they lived in 1935, but in the 1930 Census the family lived in Abbot on “Back Road,” meaning the Back Road to Guilford.

One Abbot household from 1940 that did not live in town in 1935 was the family of John F. Keough, 60, and his wife, Mabel L., 68. Their residence on April 1, 1935, was listed as Newport News, Va. That kind of information is very helpful to genealogists, who otherwise might be looking all around Maine to find the couple.


Richard Shaw had a wonderful story on the front page of The Weekly on April 4. He interviewed Barry Darling about his efforts to transcribe old radio programs from WLBZ for Special Collections at Fogler Library on the University of Maine campus in Orono.

Of particular interest to me was the description of a 1947 program dedicating the Book of Honor at Bangor Public Library, a book which has a photo and page of information on each of approximately 110 Bangor men who were killed in World War II. Read the story at


The next meeting of the Penobscot County Genealogical Society will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, in the Lecture Hall at Bangor Public Library, 145 Harlow St. All are welcome to attend.

One of the society’s members, Anette Rodrigues, will give her program about the 30,000 Hessian soldiers who fought alongside the British in the American Revolution. About 5,000 of them remained in North America, some of them even in Maine. Who were they, where did they come from, why did they get involved in the American Revolution, and why is it so difficult to find them among our ancestors?


The Orono Historical Society will host a talk on “Early Orono” by Maria Girouard, historian and former director of cultural and historic preservation for the Penobscot Indian Nation, at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 26, in the Town Council Chambers of the municipal building on Main Street.

Girouard’s talk will focus on native place names of the Orono landscape by utilizing knowledge of the Penobscot language, and will highlight the ecological knowledge of the area’s first residents and how this helped shape the history of Maine. The presentation is free and open to all. Donations will be accepted to benefit Orono Historical Society.

For information on researching family history in Maine, see Genealogy Resources under Family Ties at Send genealogy queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402, or email

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