Wednesday, April 4, 2012

USA 1940 census

On this side of "the pond" there is much excitement about the newly released 1940 census (2nd April). Lots of people are re-visiting their genealogy and family history while others are being inspired to start for the first time. For many the idea of possibly finding living relatives or themselves is exciting.

I took a look yesterday and was happy with what I found. The images are large and, on the whole, easy to read. Yes it is a disadvantage if you have no idea where your relative lived and you don't want to plow through page after page of images but I look on it as "the thrill of the hunt" type task :) Indexing is in process to make the process easier but will take a while.

Found my father-in-law with his parents and the family story about the surname being spelled differently is true. Does that mean we should switch back ?

I have a lot of cousins that came to the USA from Scotland so this census is relevant in my search. Looked for three so far. One stayed put, one moved within the town, another appears to have moved elsewhere.

Hints -
If you have relatives in the 1930 census type in the enumeration district number to get the 1940 one and see what happens.
Where to go? Click on "getting started" and scroll down to "convert 1930 to 1940".
Try a smaller town first just to get your exploring feet wet and then graduate up to something larger. My large one will be Manhattan, New York.
If you find someone you can bookmark, download, or print.
Try not to use the site at peak viewing times.