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Old 04-02-2012, 12:31 PM   #1
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Default 1940 Census released and online

The National Archives has released the entire 1940 Census and it's available online at 1940census.archives.gov

However, there's good news and bad news. The good news is that the census schedule has a lot of very good information. For a list of questions asked, go here: Questions Asked.

The bad news is that it isn't indexed. You can only browse by location and then view images of the actual pages for that location. All of the genealogy websites (FamilySearch, Ancestry, HeritageQuest, etc.) are working on indexing but it'll be awhile before it's complete. There will probably be partial indexes released as they are completed.

If you know the location of the person you're interested in finding, you can browse the images of the Enumeration District they resided in. To find the ED, go to the NARA Online Search here: http://www.archives.gov/research/search/

Enter the following search terms: 1940 Census County State
Example: 1940 Census Wayne Michigan

This will bring up a map of the county, usually divided into several separate sections, that shows the Enumeration District numbers. When you've found the ED# for the area that you want to search, go to http://1940census.archives.gov/search/ then click on "Enumeration District". Select a state and then enter the ED# (Ex: 17-16), and then click "View It".

This will bring up a set of images of the actual pages. You can view each page to check for the name of the person you're looking for.

An alternate way to search is to go to http://1940census.archives.gov/search/ then click Location. Select a state and county. Select a city and a street if you know them. This will give you a list of the ED #'s for that location, as well as an option to see maps of the ED's or a text description of the boundaries of the ED. This is a good option to use if you know a specific address, or at least a street or road. This method also brings up a set of images of the actual pages for that ED, which you can check for the person you're looking for.

Browsing images is a very time consuming process but access is free at NARA and, for now, is the only way to view the 1940 Census. I'll try to remember to post a follow-up to this when Family Search starts putting up indexes, which will also be free.

The website and server are getting slammed and so everything is very slow. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions or need help.
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Old 04-02-2012, 02:28 PM   #2
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Had trouble with it earlier, maybe becuse of the amount of people trying to access it. I'll try a little later tonight.
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:02 PM   #3
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It's been pretty hit or miss all day. But, as you said, probably just due to traffic. So it should improve once the initial rush is over.
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Old 04-02-2012, 04:30 PM   #4
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Massive Demand for 1940 U.S. Census Data Crashes Website

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/deman...5#.T3oMNtlcAcs
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:58 PM   #5
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I'm trying to find my aunt and since I have no clue where she lived, when she died or her married last name, I'll have to be patient and wait for the info to be available on Ancestry. No one ever talked about this aunt, I may have found a living person who would know, but not sure.
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:30 PM   #6
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Sign up to help with the indexing at Family Search, and get the job done that much faster!

https://indexing.familysearch.org/ne...me.jsf?3.12.12
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:49 PM   #7
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Thanks rootdiggr! I meant to post that link and totally forgot about it.

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Old 04-02-2012, 11:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rootdiggr View Post
Sign up to help with the indexing at Family Search, and get the job done that much faster!

https://indexing.familysearch.org/ne...me.jsf?3.12.12
Thanks! I can do this because there's no time limit like in an office. Thanks for all of the links. I'm saving them all.
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:05 PM   #9
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Still having the same trouble, not trouble getting in, but I get this for results:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg ss.jpg (182.5 KB, 23 views)
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:21 PM   #10
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I was able to access it last night, although the images were loading very, very slowly.

I haven't tried yet today but I will in a bit and see what I can get.
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:25 PM   #11
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I down loaded several sets of pages this morning fairly quickly.
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Old 04-03-2012, 03:43 PM   #12
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Ancestry now has my state. Was able to find both parents and both sets of grand parents relatively quickly. Also interesting to see my grandmom's second husband (and his wife) living about a block away from my grandmom and grandpop at the time...intrigue!!
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:09 PM   #13
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I've been having a good time browsing these images. One of the things that strikes me is the limited (formal) education my ancestors had. In the 1940 census there is a question about how many years of elementary, highschool and college education the person has. I was pretty sure that I was the first preson in my family to graduate college, but I didn't realize how many did not even have a high school education. It may be a sign of the times (1930s depression). I'm guessing that as soon as you were old enough to work, then you were through with school.
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Old 04-06-2012, 12:11 AM   #14
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I've been looking over the census for the area Mom lived in. I couldn't even find her street listed. Maybe reading them at 3am is not a good idea on my part.
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:22 AM   #15
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Feather, try another street close by to search on. I know through my research many street names changed (funy thing is that many times I'll see the old name referenced on documents - death certs, marriage docs - even after the official name was changed). I work with a window of google maps open to narrow down the area (cross streets, block numbers) to help zero in on the right area.
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:30 AM   #16
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I couldn't even find the street on a new map. I think the main problem is their restaurant was in front of the house. I might not have the right address too. I'm going to look again today so I have a fresh brain working on it.
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