My shocker from the 1940 US Federal census.
Finding my Dad's maternal Grandfather, James Jakes. alive and living with my Grandparents in 1940. When I first began researching over 20 yrs ago I found a Date of death on microfiche for a James Jakes in the area in which he had lived and I incorrectly ASSumed it was him. The date was within 2 yrs of his wife's death and it seemed logical to me(the whole dying of a broken heart bit after losing a spouse). I knew where he was buried however his tombstone did not have a year of death. So I never really gave much thought to researching any more on him other than his children and his ancestors. After finding that he was still alive in 1940 I was able to search FamilySearch's online death records for TN and come up with the correct Death Cert and the correct date of death which happened the following yr. It also gave his birthdate. Prior to that I only had the yr from the tombstone and a month from census records which is off by one from what his Death Cert listed. The certificate also told his place of death-- Davidson Co. Hospital(TN). and gave M as his middle initial...something I'd never seen. Makes me wonder if it is Morrow which was his mother's Maiden name. The informant on the death cert. listed his father as James Jakes...which is probably an error. I have several records showing his father was George Jakes although I don't rule out the possibility that George's middle name might have been James.
Now I'm off in search of his 1930 census entry and also going to find out who Martha Gibson, the informant on his death certificate is. Two Gibson brothers married two of James Jakes' daughters and his Aunt Ann Jakes married a Gibson.
Lots of possibilities.
I love learning :-)
Search for your family in the 1940 Census Records
1940 US Federal Census at FamilySearch
1940 US Federal Census at National Archives And Records Administration