Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Great Grandma in the 1940 Census

So like everyone else around the world I attempted to access the 1940 census on that wonderful day of April 2nd.  Silly girl that I was I was thinking it would be easy.  I thought all the rest of the genealogists in the world would be at work and I would get right in!  After one hour I figured out that I was crazy and that I needed to go back to work.

So I waited a couple of days and then lo and behold I went a searching!!!  I found a couple of grandparents that I was looking for but really wanted to find my great grandmother.  Rika Guritz Hanson has always been an interesting person for me.  Rika was born 6 October 1889 in Middleton, Jackson County, Minnesota.  Her parents were Fred Guritz and Euphemia Waite.  Euphemia died when Rika was only 8 years old and her father remarried less than one year later to Sarah Hanson

Rika eventually grows up and married Henry Anton Hanson on 1 July 1909 in Martin County, Minnesota. It was the longest time before I found that marriage record.  The families were from Jackson County, Minnesota and Dickinson County, Iowa.  Why on earth were they married in Martin County??  I am not sure I will ever know but it was a happy day dance that was done that day!!!!

Rika was Henry's third wife with his first wife passing away and divorcing his second wife.  He had one son from his first wife so Rika inherited a son.  A son that was only 2 years younger than her!!!  Interesting twist to the story is that Henry was the brother of Rika's step mother Sarah.  Rika then goes on to give birth to eleven children with three of them dying when they were infants.

So Rika and Henry live in Superior Township, Dickinson County, Iowa from the time they were married up to the 1930 census.  Henry passes away in 1942 in Spirit Lake, Dickinson County, Iowa and on his death certificate it says he is divorced but still names Rika as his wife. Then Rika passes away in 1944 in Arnold's Park, Dickinson County, Iowa and her death certificate says widowed.  There had always been rumors about Rika leaving Henry and going to Arnold's Park to live.  The obituary for Henry only mentions the children and not Rika.

So the 1940 census was going to be my chance to see if they were still together.  Now I know some of you are asking why I did not get a divorce decree from Dickinson County Iowa.  Good question but when I went to Dickson County many years ago I had a very hard time getting anything from the courthouse.  In person or in writing.  That is on my to do list some day when I get back there!!!

The 1940 census shows Ricka Hanson as the head of the rental house.  She is 55 and her marital status is wd.  Wait wd?  But Henry is alive according to the death certificate.  Look to the next rental property and lo and behold there is Henry  Hanson as the head of his house.  He is 73 and his marital status is D.  He is living with two of their children Chris and Loyd (Lloyd).  Even more interesting is that there is no X in a circle that shows who gave Henry's info.  Only Ricka has the X in a circle on her line.  So did Rika give the information for Henry???  If so is this her payback??  She is a widow and he is divorced.  One will never know!!!

So until I find more about Rika and her life I will just have to remember her as I know her!