Helena Cecelia Larsen and Ephraim Anton Holst

So far my posts for the #52ancestors challenge have been tributes to people that I knew before their death and less about family history research. Well, this week’s prompt, “In the Census,” has plunged me into the work of learning how to piece together clues from records. This inevitably leads to mysteries. This post is about one such mystery.

Helena Cecelia Larsen and Ephriam Anton Holst are Brandon’s fraternal great grandparents. They were married in Ogden, Utah in 1914 when Helena was 22 years old and Ephriam was 32. Sometime in the 1920s they and their two sons moved to Park City, Utah. Ephriam passed away in January 1949 still in Park City. By 1960 Helena was living in Salt Lake City, Utah. So, here’s the mystery. The 1940 census shows Helena and their sons sons, Ephraim Maurice and Noel Jay (Brandon’s grandfather), living in the home of one William Kalis. Per the census Helena is the housekeeper. But where is the husband? Why was he living separate from his wife and sons (who were in their 20s) in 1940?

Year: 1940; Census Place: Park City, Summit, Utah; Roll: m-t0627-04218; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 22-15

The closest clue Brandon and I have for Ephraim Anton Holst is his 1942 draft registration card.

The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II Draft Cards (Fourth Registration) for the State of Utah; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147; Box or Roll Number: 43

He indicated on the form that he was unemployed. Perhaps in 1940 he was away working or looking for work, so needed family income was being brought in by Helena working as a housekeeper. This seems to be the most likely scenario.

The plan from here is to try and find the 1940 census record for Ephraim Anton Holst. Wish us luck!


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