Some of you mentioned the 1940 census at our meeting last Thursday, so I thought I would give you more information on where to find it online. The images of the 1940 census are on several different websites. You can view them for free on all the sites. None of the sites have the 1940 census indexed yet because it was only made available to them on April 2. They are all working to get it indexed.
Ancestry.com has the 1940 census at this link: Ancestry 1940 Census. If you scroll to the bottom of that page, they have a table which shows what has been uploaded to the site: all of the states, plus D.C., American Samoa, Panama Canal Zone, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Two states, Delaware and Nevada, have now been indexed and you can search for names in those states.
You do not have to have a paid membership to Ancestry.com to access the 1940 census for now. The images will be free until the end of 2013. You do have to sign up for a free account, but everyone should have a free Ancestry account because several of their record sets are searchable for free. (See a list here.) If your state has not been indexed, you will need to know the Enumeration District (ED) in order to find someone on the 1940 census.
FamilySearch.org teamed with Archives.com, FindMyPast and the National Archives to make the 1940 census available online. The census images can be found on the following sites: Archives.com, FindMyPast.com, National Archives and FamilySearch.org. I have only used the National Archives and FamilySearch sites, so I’m not familiar with what is on the other sites, but those 2 sites have all the states available for browsing.
More than 113,000 volunteers are helping FamilySearch to index the census. You can help with indexing by signing up here: Getting Started. In just the first week, more than 12.3 million names from the 1940 census have been indexed. You can view a map to see the progress of each state on the FamilySearch website. I, and many others, have been working hard the past several days to index the state of Texas. As of today, we are 7% finished. Please come join us!
You can browse the images by state, county, city, town or enumeration district by entering the information in the boxes below the map on the FamilySearch site. For instance, if you enter Texas – Johnson – Cleburne in the appropriate boxes, then click on Search, you will see a list of all the EDs for Cleburne. You can also enter smaller towns in any county to narrow down your search. Then just click on any of the results to browse the images.
On the National Archives Search site, you can narrow your search down a little more if you know the street a person lived on in 1940 because you can select a state, county, city or town and street name and cross street. This will usually narrow down your results to one or two enumeration districts.
Another site which has the 1940 census images online is MyHeritage. You can browse all the states and territories and they have the state of Rhode Island indexed, so you can search it by name.
To find the street address of persons in 1940, try asking older relatives or looking in city directories. Many city directories can be found on Ancestry.com. If you don’t have a subscription, try your local library or FamilySearch Center. Also, if you live near the place where your ancestors lived in 1940, many local libraries have copies of city directories for the towns or cities near them.
Good luck on your search!
Debbie Blanton McCoy