Preparing for the Release of the 1940 Federal Census


As we all know, in less than a year from now the 1940 federal census will be released to the public.  Unfortunately, the census will not be indexed when it is released, and probably not for several months afterward.  Even though the census will be released digitally (sorry guys, no public microfilm this time), we’re going to have to take our research old-school.  We will have to browse the records by hand to find our ancestors.

In an effort to prepare for this long-awaited release, I have added some links on my website here: 1940 Federal Census.  These are PDF documents that can be found on the NARA website that give a lot of information about the census and what to expect from a research-significant standpoint.

Fortunately, the National Archives (NARA) has indicated that they will be splitting the census up by state, county, and enumeration district.  Unfortunately, the enumeration districts are numbered differently than in the past.  So, I have also included a link to Steve Morse’s handy-dandy tool to convert the 1920 and 1930 enumeration districts to the 1940 enumeration districts, which will save a ton of time – and can all be done before the census is released!

Hopefully, others will find this useful and time-saving.  You can use the link above or, if you already have my toolbox bookmarked, I have placed the link to the page on the home page:

Don’t hate on my mad mouse-drawing skillz!

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m going to have quite a list.  Hopefully, I’ll have time to actually use these links before time runs out.  April 2, 2012 will be here before you know it!

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Author: Jenny Lanctot

I have been working on my genealogy in earnest (albeit in fits and starts) since around 1990. My approach to my research has evolved exponentially since those days (read: I actually appear to know what I'm doing now), and I am enrolled in ProGen 24 on my way toward certification. I am a Paralegal in a small law firm in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I am the Editor of Southern Roots & Shoots, the quarterly publication of the Chattanooga Delta Genealogy Society. Aside from work, blogging, and my genealogy research, in my spare time I like to ... wait ... I forgot, I don't have any spare time. If I had ANY spare time, I would travel (for research) and write (about my research).

4 thoughts on “Preparing for the Release of the 1940 Federal Census”

  1. Jenny,
    I’m trying to correct an impression before it goes too far that we only have a 1930 to 1940 conversion tool for the 1940 census searches on the Morse One Step site. In fact we have 5 tools. A good start to see what we have is to read the essay:
    which describes the conversion tool, the ED definition tool, the large city (70% of cities covered) tool that goes from an address to a 1940 ED # for all cities over 25,000 and many below that mark. We also have street change tables and a utility to tell you, from an ED #, what 1940 streets and institutions are within that ED. These are functional NOW, and available for free.
    Joel Weintraub

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