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24 May 2012

On the Street Where We Live: A Case Study Using the 1940 Census


Saturday, June 16, 2012
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

California Genealogical Society Library
2201 Broadway, Suite LL2
Oakland, CA 94612

Michael Nolan, Marty Combs, and Julie Laguard are neighbors in the Bernal Heights district of San Francisco. They used recently released 1940 census data to look back in time at the street where they live. Join us for this fascinating comparison of then and now. The neighbors will present their research on the 200 Block of Elsie Street. They will compare and contrast who lived there in 1940 with data about who lives on the block today, including:
  • How many people lived under one roof? 
  • What were their origins? Did they migrate or immigrate from somewhere else? 
  • What did they do for a living? 
  • How much did they earn? What was their length of employment? 
  • Vertical study of one house on the block over time 
They will discuss the role the research played in binding the block together through frequent potluck dinners, mutual support in time of need, celebration in time of joy, and a stellar annual block party.

Michael Nolan and Marty Combs will present, with research assistance from Elsie Street neighbor, Julie Lagarde.

The presentation is free and open to all. Please let us know you are coming.


Michael Nolan was born and bred in Brooklyn, the son of an Irish Catholic father and a Polish Jewish immigrant mother. He thinks his fascination with genealogy thus began in the womb. He convenes regular family reunions for both sides of his family and maintains sites for both on Facebook and MyFamily. He recently convened a 50th anniversary reunion for his eighth grade class at PS99 in Brooklyn and used various research tools to find missing classmates. He has a long history in journalism in NYC and San Francisco as a researcher, producer and editor for CBS News, the Public Broadcast Laboratory, and the San Francisco Business Times. He currently researches and develops family trees for individual clients. More information at Give the Gift of Family History on Facebook.

Marty Combs is from northwestern North Carolina where his family has been living since the late 1790s. Having only one living grandparent who was already 82 by his birth, and parents who grew up during the Great Depression, he was exposed early to discussions of “the good ol' days” and how families and homes transition through time. He has often exchanged stories with neighbors regarding the history of his neighborhood and home. Marty's day job is a unix system administrator. In his spare time, he cares for a nearby community garden, does woodworking, metalworking and relaxes on his front stoop socializing with neighbors.

Julie Lagarde is a social historian, policy analyst and advocate. A native of France, she obtained a Masters degree in Public Policy at the Institut d'Etudes politiques de Bordeaux. Growing restless with unemployment, she decided to apply her thirst for research to her home. Michael and Marty will present her “vertical study” on who has lived in her house over the past century, since it was built.


Copyright © 2012 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library

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