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               July, 2011

      Charles Hansen, Editor

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  Getting Ready for the 1940 Census
  — by Charles Hansen

       We know that the 1940 census will be released in April of 2012, it was supposed to be released on April 1, but April 1st is a Sunday and so the official release date will be April 2nd. I know everyone will now say I already know what will be on the 1940 census so I won't even check it out, which is a big mistake as each census is always different and you might find a clue on your ancestors you did not know before.

       The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) will host the 1940 census on their website and it will not be indexed, so there might be a couple of problems:

1. If every genealogist in the USA tries to get to the NARA site on April 2nd, it might crash, but I saw that NARA is advertizing for other vendors to host the 1940 census, so lets hope there will be multiple websites to host the 1940 census and that they do not crash from the crush of genealogists.

2. Since there will be no index for a while at least, how can you find your ancestors in the census? Well Steve Morse has been indexing the enumeration districts so you can put in an address and get the enumeration district number and then go to the online census for that enumeration district and start looking.

       This is how we found people in the census before the census indexes came about, and it still works for those people you can not find in any census index. I recently helped a lady find her grandfather in the 1930 census of Spokane, which she could not find in a single 1930 census index. I had made a map of the Spokane enumeration districts for 1930 and with the help of the 1931 city directory she found him in the correct enumeration district. Now you might ask why the 1931 city directory? Well they collected the information for the 1931 city directory in 1930 and printed the directory early in 1931, so closer to the 1930 census. So you might need to check both the 1940 and 1941 city directories for your ancestors address before you find the enumeration district(s).

       The Genealogy and Family History Blog had a good article on the 1940 census and it lists the Steve Morse website for finding the enumeration districts for many cities, and Steve is asking for help in indexing more cities so by the time of the 1940 census all cities will be indexed. Right now they have Spokane done and so checking for my grandparents address gives me three enumeration districts to check, guess they are on the line between enumeration districts like they were in the 1930 census. Steve also has an enumeration district finder if you know the 1930 enumeration district and it will give you the 1940 census enumeration district.

       Will you be in the 1940 census?, Your brothers or sisters?, Your parents?, Your grandparents?, aunts and uncles?




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