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Christina Applegate

When you begin any family tree, you start with what you know and then work backwards in time. Christina Applegate didn’t want to go far, just back to her father, Bob’s, mother. Neither of them had known her, but Christina had her father’s birth certificate, which gave us information about his mother’s maiden name, date of birth, and where she was living when Bob was born. With this information, we were ready to check the 1940 and 1930 census records at Ancestry.com. Here we found Lavina Shaw living with her parents in Trenton, New Jersey. We learned that Lavina was named after her mother and that her father, Ovid, was working as a carpenter in 1930.

Looking at the family in 1940, they had fallen on hard times with both Ovid and 18-year-old Lavina out of work.

 

 

These census records provided the foundation we needed to start looking for birth, marriage and death records for all members of the family.

Learn how your own family survived the Great Depression by comparing their answers in the 1930 and 1940 census records at Ancestry.com.

Learn more about Christina’s journey or watch the full episode on TLC.com.

Research Manager on Project:

Joseph B. Shumway

Project Hours:

287 Hours

Joseph discovered the thrill of genealogy at age 12, and at 14, he began volunteering at his local Family History Center. By age 16 he was teaching classes and lecturing on various family history topics, and at age 18 was presented the Young Historian of the Year Award by the Wyoming State Historical Society.

He has worked as a British Reference Consultant at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and has lectured at many regional and national genealogical conferences. He has been a part of the AncestryProGenealogists team since 2007. As part of his work, he has also made multiple television appearances on such shows as CBS This Morning, CNN's Starting Point, The Jimmy Kimmel Show and 12 episodes of Who Do You Think You Are?.

Joseph is a member of the Genealogical Speaker's Guild (GSG) and has served as both president and vice president of the Salt Lake Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG). He has also served on the Board of Commissioners for the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen).

His primary areas of research expertise include the United States (South and Mid-Atlantic), England, Wales, Scotland, Latin America, Caribbean, African-American, probate and missing heirs, and immigration.

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