2010 was an important year in many ways, but one of the most important events of the year was the U.S. Census. The census occurs every 10 years in our nation, and serves many important functions; beyond just merely telling us how many people live in the United States. The census determines each state’s representation in the United States Senate. The census also affects state and local representation, all of which is based on population.
At 6:00 a.m. on April 2, 2012, Midwest Genealogy Center will open its doors for anyone wanting to look at the 1940 Census. You will be able to "Get Ready" by attending a class to help you understand the 1940 Federal Census. You’ll "Get Set" by researching addresses and city directories. At 8:00 a.m., the 1940 Federal Population Census will be released to the public. And you will be ready to "GO!" to the National Archives and Records Administration website.
To celebrate the opening of this census, the Midwest Genealogy Center will open our doors at 6:00 a.m. on April 2nd to those who have signed up to be one of the first viewers. Free classes will be available, so call and sign up now. You are welcome to bring your laptop and use the free Wi-Fi, but we also have 20 library computers available. Doughnuts and coffee will be served.
I suppose if you are reading this blog, you have already noticed that the 1940 census was just released. Have you taken advantage of the links that the Midwest Genealogy Center has made available yet? I have! I am researching my mother’s family and am hunting for their 1940 address. I need to do a little more research for my father’s family as they were living in a rural area. I found my mother’s family in the 1940 Independence City Directory.
Knowing that the 1940 census was being released without indexing, I despaired that there was no way I was going to be able to find my mother’s family on the census until later this year when it gets indexed. My grandparents lost their farm during the depression and moved frequently after that. One of the ways to find your 1940 ancestors is to locate them on the 1930 census. At http://stevemorse.org/census/unified.html, you can find the 1940 enumeration district (ED) number if you know the 1930 ED num
Have you ever taken a close look at some of the questions the enumerator asked when taking the census? Some questions don’t seem very useful to a genealogist. (Yes, I do realize that censuses were not taken just so I could use them for genealogy.) One particular question caught my attention one day and became a way to track an elusive family. I found my ancestor on the 1855 New York State Census. Looking at the original image, I noticed writing in a column next to his mother and brother that others didn’t have.