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Monday, April 2, 2012


1940 US Census: We have waited 72 years!

Well, it has not been quite that long, but it sure feels like it (I'm not that old)!  I cannot wait to dive in.  I will help index, but I am so anxious to see what the family groups look like that I have already researched in previous census years. I have so many questions:

Will I discover other family members that I could not locate in 1940?

How will it feel to see my parents for the first time on the census?

Will I find new members of the family group that I had not identified before?

I have to admit that I have been spoiled by being able to search census collections online.  I will definitely index, but I will try my hand searching enumeration districts as soon as they are available for the states I need.  I am really anxious to locate my family on my father's side who migrated between Arkansas and Tennessee. They have been particularly hard to pin down.

I have also been inspired to pay closer attention to the history and events of the 1940's.  I breezed right past all that in my haste to reach the 1870's.  This probably would explain the challenges I have faced.  Perhaps a closer look this time will help me identify more resources.

Last night, I was so excited I created a chart to record the family groups as I identify them in 1940.  I am sure I will find some of those more elusive family members who I could not track before now. Then I can follow the trail back every ten years.  I will put the name of each family member in birth order with each of their ages beneath the census year that I find them.

Census Tracker:



  1. Yes, the history and events in the 1940s were tumultuous. My father was called to the European front of WWII in 1942, just a few months before I was born. He would be away for four years.

    I also hope to find elusive family members. On "Finding Your Roots" last night, I was reminded that phonic spellings are important, and that people may change their names, especially the last name. Census takers have half a dozen spellings of one of my family's surnames, too. I'm ready to tackle 1940 as soon as I can, and I'm trying to prepare for inevitable frustrations.

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  3. So true, Mariann! Especially true are the numerous ways surnames are spelled. I did try to search today, but the I could not get the pages to load. I suppose 37 million people trying to access was too much to handle. LOL! Well, I am glad so many are interested. I hope our turn comes soon!


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