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Plenty of resources to help with 1940s Census search

By: CAROL MCGRAW
March 30, 2012
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To find your family in the 1940 Census, you need to do some homework first, says J Richards, of the Pikes Peak Genealogical Society.

The information is not yet indexed by surnames. There are volunteers all over the world helping with the indexing, which will be available later this year.

But if you just can’t wait, Richards offers some tips.

First, try to have an address in hand. Check with older relatives, city directories, old address books, birth and death certificates and local histories found in the library.

If you don’t have an exact address, but know the general area, you can find relatives, but it will involve looking at more census pages.

Once you have an address or area, pinpoint it on a census map of “enumeration districts.”

Those are the geographic areas assigned to each census taker, usually a portion of a city or county, consisting of about 2,000 people. Each of those areas has a particular number. Look up the number and you have the people living in that area.

To ease your search, check the website stevemorse.org. He’s a genealogy techie who has done the work for you. Click on census and quizzes and answer the questions. The result is the enumeration number for the area you want.

More resources:

The 1940 Census will be available at 7 a.m. Monday, at this website:
www.1940census.archives.gov.

For more information visit www.archives.gov/research/census/1940/index.html.

You can also follow the U.S. National Archives on Twitter using hashtag #1940 census, as well as on Facebook, YouTube and other social media.

If you wait until volunteers index the 1940 census (which could take anywhere from two months on) you will be able to more easily find the information at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint’s site, www.familysearch.org, and or at www.ancestry.com, which have collaborated to index the 1940 census.

Familysearch is a free site. Ancestry.com is available by subscription from the company, or you can go to the Pikes Peak Library District branches including Penrose, which has special collections on genealogy and local history at 20 North Cascasde Ave., where the site is available free. Library card holders also can access through the library website www.ppld.org a site called HeritageQuestOnline, which has earlier censuses, histories and records. The library also has tons of resource books.  

Local Classes:

The Pikes Peak Genealogical Society has guest speakers the second Wednesday of every month, 7 p.m., Penrose Library, and also sponsors many geneaology classes at the library. The society website is ppgs.org. Call 531-6333, ext. 2252 for information.

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