Photograph of the Week – Doran Family of Hamilton Street, Harrison, NJ

In this lovely photo above, Bernard & Mary (Mahoney) Doran are posing for the camera on Hamilton Street, along with their eldest daughter Margaret, daughter Elizabeth, and son Joseph. They all look so happy, that I always smile when I look at this picture. Based on the apparent ages of their children, this picture was taken in the early 1940s, possibly on Easter Sunday since the bonnets look very festive.

If you’re getting ready for the 1940 Federal Census release, like I am, it’s important to know the address and enumeration district your family lived in, to help facilitate the search. will be have the records online tomorrow, but the index will not be available at first. They do plan on offering the 1940 Census free through 2013, and at some point there will be a detailed index searchable by street address. Using the Harrison Directory from Hudson County available on their website, my Doran family was living on Hamilton Street in 1940 (see below). You can also usually find city and town directories at public libraries and local historical societies.

But during the 1930 Federal Census the Doran family was living at 310 Warren Street, Harrison, NJ. They were listed under the spelling “Duran” and the enumeration district was listed as 9-247. This is where some detective work comes in handy. If you know any other family or neighbors that may have lived on the same street as your loved ones in 1940, go back to the 1930 Federal Census and look them up. I knew the Yaeger family also lived on Hamilton Street, and I found them in the 1930 Federal Census at 536 Hamilton Street, in enumeration district 9-252. Now I know where to look for my Doran clan in the 1940 Census, plus I have the exact address for my Doran family if I want to wait until the street index is ready.

Here are some other spots to search the 1940 Federal Census records: (the genealogy organization run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints), (the National Archives have partnered with this family history website), and one more site that may be helpful for advice is the USGenWeb Project.

At 9 a.m. ET tomorrow, April 2, the federal government will release these digital records. The 1940 Federal Census will also list where the person lived in 1935, a double bonus for tracking down your roots. From the website here’s a quote as to what to look for:

The 1940 census included several standard questions, such as: name, age, gender, race, education, and place of birth. But the census also introduced some new questions. One example is that the enumerator was instructed to mark (with a circled x) who in the household responded to the census questions. Other questions included whether the person worked for the CCC, WPA, or NYA the week of March 24-30, 1940, and the income for the 12 months ending December 31, 1939.

Name: Bernard Doran
Residence Year: 1940
Street Address: 525 Hamilton H
Residence Place: Harrison; Kearny; East Newark; Arlington; North Arlington, New Jersey
Publication Title: Harrison, New Jersey, City Directory, 1940

6 thoughts on “Photograph of the Week – Doran Family of Hamilton Street, Harrison, NJ

  1. The 1940 Census database might be released but as of 9:51 am today I cannot access any data. Probably the sites are crashing with the number of people trying to access the records. I tried Family Search,, and
    Apparently it is going to take some time before the images are available.


  2. So far, I’ve had the best luck with and the 1940 images there are crystal clear. Right now these have been completed: American Samoa, Delaware, District of Columbia, Guam, Indiana, Maine, Nevada, and Virgin Islands. These are in process: California, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia. It also looks like some enumeration districts have changed from 1930. Again, has maps that load and census returns that are easy to view. has been almost impossible to view completed states or maps. Too much traffic on the site is slowing everything down. Good luck searching!


  3. Today it is much easier to view the census returns at
    and using their ED converter “Do you know your ancestors 1930 ED#? Enter the state and enumeration district below and we’ll return the 1940 equivalent,” I found their NJ, Hudson County, Harrison1940 ED was 9-112. At image 23 of 26 the Doran Family was living on Hamilton Street, but it looks like House #536. Head of Household – Bernard Doran, and it lists the entire Doran family. Wife – Mary Doran and children: Bernard Jr., James, Margaret, John, Peter, William, Elizabeth and Joseph. The census was taken April 29, 1940.


  4. Wow Bernard looks just like your dad! This is really interesting, I’d like to look for family any tips to start out?


    1. Thanks, Kathi! I think so, too! Good luck with researching your family. You can start simply with a notebook dedicated to your genealogy, that you can add to. I use a program for the computer called Roots Magic that is not expensive and is easy to use. Any person on your family tree that is still alive should be keep private for security reasons. Ask every relative to tell you what they know, and put that information down on forms. Here’s a good source for forms and advice that is free:
      Have fun digging for your roots. Please contact Veronica or I again if you want more in depth help. Happy Easter!


    2. Hi Kathi,
      Living in Maine has its advantages. The Maine State Library has genealogy resources see –
      AND the best part, free access to using library computers. Some libraries also offer free access to Heritage Quest. Call your library and ask them if they have the Library version of and if not, then ask them if they would contact the MSL to sign up for it since it’s free. Paid memberships to cost a small fortune, so it’s quite a help having it available for free at the library. If your library doesn’t and/or won’t then the Bangor Library will have. For specific genealogy questions you can contact me directly at
      Welcome to the genealogy sisterhood!


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