We are just a week away from the release of the 1940 Census and thanks to the National Archives, they have setup a direct link to the 1940 Census records at http://www.archives.gov/research/census/1940/ and a brief, yet informative video I’ve posted below, for anyone planning to access these records on April 2, 2012.
So why is the 1940 Census so special?
This census describes our country during the Great Depression, which began when Wall Street crashed, October 1929. According to Wikipedia.org, This crash “. . . marked the beginning of a decade of high unemployment, poverty, low profits, deflation, plunging farm incomes, and lost opportunities for economic growth and personal advancement.”
So what can you and I do right now to prepare for the grand opening of the 1940 Census?
We can begin by:
- Making a list of all the people (our ancestors, their parents, siblings, cousins, etc.) we want to look up in the 1940 Census.
- Collecting as many addresses as possible for these people by referring to:
- City Directories
- 1930 Census
- World War II Draft Records
- Naturalization Petitions
- Identifying the Enumeration District (ED) where our ancestors lived.What are Enumeration Districts? These are geographical areas of a city or county that were assigned to a census taker.To locate the Enumeration Districts where our ancestors’ lived, go to the National Archives’ Online Public Access Search (OPA) at http://www.archives.gov/research/search/.
To look up an Enumeration District, type –
1940 census enumeration district description + the county + the state
To look up an Enumeration District Map, type –
1940 census maps + the county + the state. Another option for locating an Enumeration District is to visit Steve Morse’s website at http://stevemorse.org/census/ed2040.php?state=&year=1940 to access his free tool for converting a 1930 Census ED to a 1940 Census ED in one step.
- Accessing a blank copy of the 1940 Census forms below to become familiar with the various questions asked by census takers on that form:
Blank 1940 Census Form
Fillable 1940 Census Form
For more information and free resources for Genealogist at the National Archives, visit them online at http://www.archives.gov/research/genealogy/