The 1940 Census is now available for public inspection! The U.S. Census Bureau and National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) did a tremendous job coordinating closely for many months to prepare for and ensure access to the 1940 census population schedules as quickly as possible. It will be a short while until a fully searchable name index is available, but several efforts are under way to index some or all data elements originally captured.
The 1940 U.S. Census Community Project is a national volunteer service project that will likely make Internet history as the largest and most innovative use of 'crowd sourcing' ever seen.
View 1940 Census Overview
1940 Census Release Date details
1940 Census Celebrities Discovered
How to Start Your 1940 Census Research
Start by listing those direct-line ancestors who you have found in the 1930 census and that you know were still living in 1940. While it's possible that they may still be living in the same city or state, don't rule out the fact that your ancestors may have moved. The 1930s were the decade of the great depression, as well as the great dust bowl, so many families were on the move. Once you have listed the members of your various family lines, consider looking for anyone in their mid-to-late teens or 20s who may have been living in the household in 1930, but may now be found as a head of their own household. Next, you'll want to repeat this same process for indirect ancestors (aunts & uncles).
Questions Asked on the 1940 Census
The Bureau of the Census (Department of Commerce) provided standardized forms in 1940 for all Enumerators as in previous years. The standard Population Schedule had 34 questions and more than a dozen Supplemental Questions asked only for those persons who were enumerated on specified lines. This was the means used to ensure a random nature in obtaining supplemental information. Learn more about Questions Asked on the 1940 Census.
1940 Map of the United States
When the 1940 census was conducted, the outline of the United States and borders for the 48 contiguous states had become familiar to many, both in America and elsewhere throughout the world. The American Flag would display 48 stars, one for each state, for more than four decades. Those researching their family history are encouraged to understand the geographic area where their ancestors lived. This is especially true if your ancestors lived in or near a border town or village. It's not uncommon to find that a move just a few miles or less could result in a new state or county of residence. View a 1940 Map of the U.S.
If you know of other 1940 census or other helpful genealogy sites, please contact us.
Also, be sure to Like 1940 Census on Facebook and Follow 1940 Census on Twitter!