Monday, November 28, 2011

Motivation Monday ~ The Census Is Coming!

digital art by Renjith Krishnan

The Census is coming! The Census is coming! Read all about it! 

How many states were there in the USA in 1940?
48 (Alaska and Hawaii joined in time for the 1950 US Census but let’s not get ahead of ourselves)

How many states, counties, or towns had changed boundaries between 1930 and 1940 census?
Good question!  I haven't figured that one out yet but I'm sure its lots.

How many questions were on the 1940 standard census form?  

How many supplemental questions were asked and to who were they directed? 
12, and they were directed to individuals recorded on lines 14 and 29 of each census sheet; as well as some lines randomly designated to ensure a fair sampling.

When & Where will the census images be available? 
On Monday, April 2, 2012 & Online at the NARA national and regional offices and also online and free to the public at

Will an index be available on April 2nd?
Although the records have been digitized and will be available on April 2, there will not be any indexes on opening day.  However, people will be hard at work indexing almost immediately (that was what we call a softball question).  Once again we can thank Dr. Stephen P. Morse for coming up with yet more one-step programs to help us out. We will need to know the enumeration district for the city or town in which our ancestors lived in order to find and make use of the census images.  Why not visit  (amazing one-step search programs including several for the 1940 US Census) and check out how to find those EDs today because continued procrastination is not a good thing where the 1940 Census is concerned.  

Where can you go to get more information about the 1940 Census? 
  • If you need a primer about the census, 1940census provides a great overview and image of the forms used.  
  • Or why not go directly to the source and learn more about the census from the U.S. Census Bureau (terrific discussion of the 1940 Census Records as well as a nifty countdown clock!).  
  • As usual, Randy Seaver was way ahead of the curve ~ his Saturday Night Genealogy Fun for April 2, 2011 posted information about the release of the 1940 Census and asked us to post about which ancestors we would be searching for in the 1940 Census and where they were living on Census Day (hint ~ he told us to check city directories or telephone books and to make a list of those for whom you had an address and those that you needed to find addresses for).  Did you engage in SNGF back then?  Perhaps we should revisit that mission soon ~ why not read Randy Seaver’s post discussing SNGF & the 1940 Census.  
  • Want a tutorial to walk you through the process of locating a person in the 1940 Census? Check out Plan Now for the 1940 U.S. Census at Susan’sGenealogy Blog.  
  • And for those of you planning ahead, on Wednesday March 7 2012 Thomas MacEntee will present Are You Ready for the 1940 US Census Images? through Legacy Family Tree webinars – why not sign up now.  
I’m sure there are plenty more examples out there, but these should get you motivated to start preparing for the release of the 1940 US Census.

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