Posted by on February 17, 2012 in Australia, Content, Famous Faces, USA

What do funny man Mel Brooks, quizmaster Bob Dyer, and Winifred Patty Christensen all have in common?  They’re all in the 1930 US Census.

Many of you will be familiar with actor and producer Mel Brooks (born Melvin Kaminsky in 1926) and you can see him appearing in the 1930 US Census (shown below), living at 365 South 3rdStreet, Brooklyn, New York, along with his brothers Irving, Leonard and Bernard and his mother Kittie.  Along with their age at last birthday it lists the nationality of their parents and their occupation.  It also lists the monthly rent as $24.50.  Mel’s father isn’t listed as he died in 1928.

Bob Dyer (born Robert Dies) was everywhere in Australian entertainment but perhaps he is best remembered as the host of Pick-a-Box for 14 years.  Bob was born in Tennessee and can be found in the 1930 US Census with his extended family in Davidson, Tennessee.  Bob lists his occupation as Vaudeville Actor – something of a contrast to his Carpenter father and Printer brother.

We’d be surprised if you’d ever come across Winifred before.  She was born Winifred Patty Harle in December 1889 in Scone, New South Wales to John and Martha Harle.  Winifred married Danish immigrant Jacob Christensen in Hamilton, New South Wales in 1914 and they had two daughters (Dorothy and Joyce) and made their way to California in 1920 aboard the Sonoma. Winifred and her family can also be found in the 1930 US Census living in 2320 Teviot Street, Los Angeles (shown below). 

Winifred became a US citizen in 1937 and died in California in 1975.  It is not known if Winifred ever returned to Australia. 

Winifred may not be famous like Bob Dyer or Mel Brooks but she’s someone’s ancestor – maybe she’s yours.  Census records from any country are always worth looking at – you never know how many missing pieces of your tree might be just a simple search away….

You can search the 1930 US Census for free on Ancestry.com.au from Friday 17 February to 11pm AEDT Tuesday 21 February 2012. Check out our latest video with Ancestry’s Brad Argent on the 1930 US Census and how it can help you track down missing ancestors.