3 Replies Latest reply on Apr 30, 2021 8:22 PM by Bob Williams

    Seeking information on orphanages in Dundalk/Baltimore

    Janice Forester Newbie

      I am looking to see if I can find records of any orphanages during the 1940s in the Dundalk/Baltimore area. My grandfather was placed in one due to financial situations and a lady named Grace took him in. He has passed but we know very little about this time in his life. Does anyone know how to find this information?


        • Re: Seeking information on orphanages in Dundalk/Baltimore
          Alice Lane Ranger

          Hi Janice,

          Welcome to History Hub


          You could try this webpage for Dundalk Historical Society



          Good luck in your search


          Alice Lane

          Research Volunteer

          2 people found this helpful
          • Re: Seeking information on orphanages in Dundalk/Baltimore
            Cara Jensen Tracker

            Dear Ms. Forester,


            Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


            In addition to the advice from the previous poster, we suggest that you contact the Maryland State Archives to obtain a list of Dundalk/Baltimore orphanages operating in the 1940s.  Then please contact the institution to request a record search or search any records from the orphanage that may be held by the Archives.


            Residents of orphanages are listed in the federal decennial census.  We searched the National Archives catalog and located the Population Schedules for the 1940 Census in the Records of the Bureau of the Census (Record Group 29) that may contain the residence of your grandfather if he was living in an orphanage in 1940.   The 1940 Census schedules are digitized and available using the Catalog.


            For information about the U.S. Census, see the Census Bureau technical documentation and questionnaires as well as NARA’s page on Census Records.


            You may wish to search Ancestry.com or FamilySearch.org for the U.S. Census. There may be a fee for using Ancestry. Instead, please check for access at your local library as many library systems subscribe to these sites, making them free for their patrons.


            We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!


            2 people found this helpful
            • Re: Seeking information on orphanages in Dundalk/Baltimore
              Bob Williams Wayfarer

              I do similar research and these are a couple of trickss I use in finding orphans in the 1940 or any earlier Census. I use ancestry.com but I think you could do this on most similar website:

              1:   On the search form, I enter the person's name and at least the State I believe they were living in. I will likewise add their birth year as well as the name Grace under keywords. Then hit search to see what turns up ...

              2:   If the search reveals no leads or say over 250 possible leads, I will do two more search that include the key word "lodger" or "inmate" ---- you need to search each key word separately ... Lnmate  was used in the Census to identify anyone of any aged who exiled to a large orphanage/institution. similiarly, the term lodger was used to identified what we would today called foster children.  I have found infants referred as lodgers and someone could be the only such lodgers in house or one of many ... These places were typically segregated by gender so plugging in those terms can often help. I have learned to keep the the first couple of searches to as few as words as possible to cast a possible and refine it as I go ... I also have come across religious schools/orphanages referred to their charges as students and that term also is sometime used in the Census and my weird sixth sense is that the Grace in your grandfather's life might have part of an Order. So, I would check that out .


              Finally, I want to say that the first orphan lodger I identified in the Census was my Mom and even though I knew about her life seeing it recorded gave me greater insight, love and humility for her and what gifts she gave to her children and many others ... Hope all is well! Thanks for searching, Bob

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