Saturday, April 2, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun.. The 1940 Census

Randy's offered us yet another bit of fun this Saturday evening!!!

1)  Know that the 1940 United States Census will be released for public viewing on the National Archives website on Monday, 2 April 2012 (366 days from today!).  My understanding is that, when it is first released, that there will be no indexes available - we will have to search them the "old way" - with known addresses, finding enumeration districts from maps and websites, and then go page-by-page to find our folks.  Eventually, there will be indexes available, but we don't know how long after the release that will be.

2)  Which of your ancestral family members will be in the 1940 census?  Consider not just your ancestors, but also their siblings. 

3)  Where did your ancestral family members live in 1940 on Census Day?  Have you found all of the addresses in city directories or telephone books?  Please list the ones you know the addresses of, and the ones you need to find addresses for.

4)  Tell us about it in a blog post of your own, a comment to this blog post, or on a Facebook note or comment.

1. Unfortunately for most of my rural family in 1940, there won't be street addresses, and I will have to rely upon known farming neighbors in order to locate them!

2. This will be the very first released census that will contain both of my parents!!! Dad in West Virginia and Mom in Indiana! [I thrilled when I first found my grandparents in the Census records, I can only imagine seeing my parents names!!!]

3. Since neither of my parents homes had telephones in 1940, nor did their rural communities have directories, this really won't help me alot! Both families received their mail simply marked "General Delivery".

It doesn't promise to be an easy task to look through those un-indexed census records! But it's one in which I am raring at the bit to get into!!!


jweintraub said...

I read your blog.... don't you even have the name of their community in 1940? You don't need an address. Did they move since 1930? What is the community name on the 1930 census sheet and the ED number?

If you have the community name or even the 1930 ED #, then you can find the 1940 ED # now at I transcribed the ED definitions for 1940 that include the names of small communities, and also a conversion table of 1930 to 1940 ED #s, and you can search both databases on the Morse site and get your ED # today for the 1940 opening on April 2nd, 2012

In addition, the National Archives has indicated it will release scans of the ED films, and also ED maps of cities and counties, probably this summer, so you should be able to find the correct ED not only from, but also probably from the ED maps.

Joel Weintraub

Texicanwife said...

Thanks Joel! Yes, I do have the ED from the 1930 Census. However, in the Census years preceding the 1930, the ED name was changed frequently. So I will definitely begin with the 1930 ED name, and trust it didn't change yet again.This is an isolated mountain community for my Dad's family, and the Magisterial District is often what was used, as I explained, it often alternated between two different MD's for the ED of the time.
There were no road names. No street addresses [still aren't] for this community. Once I can locate the community, it will simply be a matter of locating someone in the community that I can place close to my direct ancestor, and work from there. [My first Census work had to be done this way, as there wasn't an index in the county courthouse where I was searching.... back in the days before we had online access!]
Mother's family will be a bit easier, as the ED never changed. However... Mother was only 3 at the time of the 1940 Census, and didn't know her address or town at the time. It will be a matter of looking through the known towns of where the family lived from the time of her birth until the time she was 5, to find the correct one!
Again, many thanks for the clues on finding this info!