Archive for the ‘1940 Census’ Category


1940 Census – California

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California is indexed now, so it’s searchable. And this cool infographic includes celebrities who lived in California in 1940, as well as information about the times.


1940 census


1940 Census progress – with badges!

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From the movie “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre”

Dobbs: “If you’re the police where are your badges?”
Gold Hat: “Badges? We ain’t got no badges. We don’t need no badges! I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ badges!”

Had I known there would be badges, I would have tried to index at least one batch from every state. I get like that sometimes.

But here are the states I’ve worked on so far:

Now I’m going to have to try to index from a wider variety of states, in order to get more – you guessed it – badges!

And, incidentally, the 1940 Census Community Project is halfway through indexing – yay!


Incredible progress

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In one day, the progress of the 1940 census for Iowa has gone from 63 percent to 78 percent.

That’s awesome!

Illinois is 26 percent, but the population was so much greater than Iowa that we should consider that significant, as well.

Time for me to do more indexing. I can hardly wait for Iowa to join the list of states that has been fully indexed and searchable.

If you’d like to join the indexing project, go here to download and install the software, then follow the instructions. Video training is available, or you can contact a local family history center for help.


Update on 1940 Census

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Indexing efforts are moving right along. Iowa is currently at 63% indexed, while Illinois is 25% indexed. Those are the two most urgent states for me.

Iowa progress:

Illinois progress:

So things are getting closer for Iowa. I’ll probably start working on Illinois indexing next. I’d like to find my mom’s family, which was probably living in Chicago at the time.


1940 Census update

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You can get an update on the 1940 census here. Iowa is 50% indexed (yay!). Illinois is 22% indexed.

I’ve been slacking a bit. Personal life does that to you. I need to get going on Iowa indexing, then I’ll go on to Illinois.

Florida, Utah and Wyoming have been added to the list of searchable indexes. Indices? Whatever.

I need to find the following people:

  • Pauline Rieboldt and her family (I think they were in Panama)
  • Arthur Burrell and his family (I think they were in Chicago)
  • Arthur Burrell’s siblings

I had already found my father’s family – and discovered that he was, indeed, living with them at the time of the census. I wasn’t sure, because he was adopted as a young child, so I didn’t know what age he was when he began living with them.


1940 Census – Day 4

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Sadly, I didn’t do any indexing today. Sometimes real life gets in the way of other things you want to do, and in this case work had a lot to do with it. I work a sort of split shift on Thursdays and Fridays, with a couple of hours in between. But I had a bout of insomnia last night, leaving me with about 3 hours of sleep, so I went home in between.

And, as I realized later, forgot about a medical appointment for my younger daughter.

So I still have a batch from Oregon to finish.

Here are the states that are up for indexing at this time:

  • Alabama
  • California
  • Florida
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Minnesota
  • New Hampshire
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas
  • Virginia

The remaining states are supposed to be rolled out soon. There’s a map here that shows the states and the percentage of how done they are. It says that Delaware is 99% done and Colorado is 72% done (at the time of this post).


1940 Census – Day 3

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Delaware has disappeared off the list for indexing, and although Colorado was there in the morning, by early afternoon it was off the list, as well. I did one batch from Colorado in the morning and started a batch from Oregon, with plans to finish it in the evening.

Then I spent a great deal of time trying to pinpoint which enumeration district my paternal grandparents’ farm was in, and started scrolling through a 92-page section. I got as far as page 64 by evening, but that was with interruptions. The site ( was sluggish in the evening, but I think that’s to be expected, and some of the problem was the computer I was using.

I didn’t finish the Oregon batch yet, but plan to on Thursday. I’m going to try to only download batches if I think I can finish them right then. I don’t want to hold things up by not finishing in a timely fashion.


1940 Census – Day 2

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Colorado, Delaware, Kansas, Oregon and Virginia census returns are available for indexing. When I started this morning, Colorado was marked as  highest priority, so I indexed one batch. When I submitted that batch and went to the download screen to see what was available, Delaware was marked as highest priority.

I did have some issues with the enumerator’s handwriting. It was mostly clear, but a little fancy – I had a little trouble distinguishing between a capital C and a capital E. But I think I got it right.

I did check and run a search for people where I was unsure if I got the spelling right, hoping to find them in the 1930 census, and I did. The other issue with the enumerator’s handwriting was that he or she scribbled over a couple of spots, and one birthplace I couldn’t figure out. But when I saw the person’s daughter was born in Nebraska (confirmed by the 1930 census), I could then tell that the mother was, as well.

It’s always a matter of chance whether you will get a record with clear handwriting or not, so I look the document over before I start to see if I think I can read it. If it’s something I don’t think I can read, I return it. I do this with copperplate writing – it’s very pretty and decorative, but I just can’t get it.

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After a break of a couple of hours, I went back to indexing. Delaware didn’t show up, so I did another batch of Colorado names. This time it was all men living in a residential hotel. Most were in their 40s and 50s and single, although some other ages popped up, as well as marital statuses.

What I found here was that on some of the men who listed their marital status as married, the M was crossed out and a 7 was written by it. I asked on a Facebook thread started by Family Search Indexing and someone said just put in the M for married.

Had some trouble with names this time, and it looked like three different people had filled this form out.

Going to do a Florida batch next. Delaware disappeared, reappeared and disappeared again. I wonder if that state is nearly done.

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I also went back and looked at recent arbitration on my indexing. There is a way to have them look at your work again if you disagree with the arbitrator.

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Finished a batch from Florida. The page had four different sets of handwriting, the household numbers skipped around and it seemed that the page was used to finish areas that didn’t have enough names for a whole page. But it’s done. I’ll have to check the arbitration later.


1940 Census – Day 1

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The 1940 U.S. Federal Census was released this morning. Several genealogy websites are working – together or separately – to bring this information to the public.

At this moment, the images for Delaware can be viewed here. Five states will be uploaded by the 1940 Census Community Project and available for indexing, then they will transport the files to Utah and begin rolling our the rest of the states.

I was not able to get any 1940 census images to index yet, so I did a batch of World War I draft registration cards. I will do daily updates on what types of indexing I do – whether it’s 1940 census or other types.


1940 Census release is Monday

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The 1940 U.S. federal census will be released on Monday, April 2.

What does this mean?

1940 census

The census images will be released, but they won’t be searchable until volunteers have indexed them. There is a drive going on to recruit volunteers for this effort.

How can I help?

Go to the 1940 Census Community Project and sign up to be a volunteer. You can put in a state or states you are interested in, but don’t restrict yourself to just those states. The faster the other states are indexed, the faster your state may be released.

You can download the indexing software right on that page or you can go to Family Search Indexing and click on Get Started. You should try at least one of the sample batches and also do some other indexing projects to get started. You can set  your preferences to the language you prefer and the degree of difficulty you think you can do.