Happy Presidents’ Day! This American holiday, which falls on the third Monday of February every year, was initially established to commemorate the birthday of George Washington, the first president of the United States. Over the years, it has developed into an opportunity to celebrate all the people who have led the country and reflect on their contributions to its history and future.
To mark the occasion this year, our Research team dove into the 1950 U.S. Census to see what they could find about the lives of U.S. presidents past and present. The 1950 census was released to the public just last year and can provide a wealth of information about people who lived during that time, including their family backgrounds, education, and professions.
Here’s what we found:
President Joe Biden
The current U.S. president, Joe Biden, was 7 years old in 1950.
Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. lived in the home of his maternal grandfather, 66-year-old Ambrose Joseph Finnegan in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Biden’s grandmother, Geraldine, died in 1949, but the retired widower was not left alone. 7 other family members lived with him! President Biden’s mother Catherine Eugenia (32) is listed as a housekeeper, and his dad Joseph Biden Sr. (34) worked 40 hours a week as an automotive inspector for an annual salary of $3200 (equivalent to around $40K in 2023 U.S. dollars). Also listed are Joe’s little sister Mary Valerie, age 4; baby brother James; unmarried uncles Edward Finnegan, age 38, a restaurant steward, and Frank Biden, 32, a census enumerator; and unmarried great-aunt Gertrude Blewitt, 70.
President Donald Trump
Donald Trump was 4 years old in 1950, and he also shared a home with 7 other people.
His father Fred, 43, was a wealthy proprietor in the building construction industry. His mother Mary, 37, is listed as a housekeeper. The other residents of the home included Donald’s 4 siblings — Mary Ann, age 13; Fred Jr., age 11; Elizabeth, age 8; and baby Robert — and Henessy Kathleen, 29, their Irish domestic worker.
President Barack Obama
Barack Obama is the only one of the past 5 U.S. presidents who hadn’t been born yet in 1950. We’ll need to wait until 2042 to find him in the 1970 U.S. Census! In the meantime, we found his mother: 7-year-old Ann Dunham was living in Kansas with her parents Stanley, age 32, a furniture salesman, and Madelyn, 27, a clerk. Stanley and Madelyn earned a yearly salary of $3,500 (equivalent to around $44K in today’s dollars) and $2,000 ($25K) respectively.
President Bill Clinton
President Clinton appears in the 1950 U.S. census as 3-year-old William Jefferson Blythe III:
He lived in Hope City, Arkansas at the time with his maternal grandparents: Edith, 48, a housekeeper, and James Eldridge Cassidy, 49, who worked 65 hours a week as a grocery store keeper for an annual salary of $1,700 (around $21K in today’s dollars).
As you can see, there’s a wealth of information you can glean from U.S. Census records about people living in the United States more than 70 years ago! What can you find about your own family members? Search the 1950 U.S. Census now to find out.
The post What We Found Out About 4 U.S. Presidents in the 1950 Census appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.
Source: My Heritage