Monday, January 16, 2012

Tuesday's Tip - Preparing for 1940

I confess that I am probably the only genealogist who is not counting down the days to April 2 and the release of the free 1940 census.  I can wait. The data will still be there when the servers are not so stressed

And since I had not thought much about this census, a recent presentation at the Fredericksburg Regional Genealogy Society did get my attention. The talk focused on the amount of preparation needed in order to successfully find people.  At first release this census will not be indexed – oh, how we have become so spoiled by that – and genealogists will need to know the Enumeration District in which their ancestors lived.  If you are lucky enough to have ancestors who aged in place, you can easily get that ED number from the 1930 census. If you suspect they did relocate in that ten years, you have any number of ways to help you determine their 1940 address. And we all hope our ancestor is listed on Line 14 or 29!

The speaker listed a few ways to find a 1940 address: city directories, WWII Draft Registration Records, Naturalization Petitions, family letters, land/tax records to name a few.

A good resource for preparing for the 1940 census is the National Archives, and to find that elusive ED number, Steve Morse comes to the rescue again! 

Family Search is in need of volunteers to index this census. Check their website for volunteer opportunities.

Although I won’t be logging onto the census on April 2, I will be prepared!!


  1. I'm not counting down either, but not because I'm not interested. I'm just not paying attention. I didn't realize it was going to be so tricky. Thanks for the heads-up!

  2. Wendy: You are welcome for the heads-up. It is comforting to know I am not alone! Good luck with your research.