Searching the 1940 Census until all the States are Indexed

The indexing of the 1940 census continues apace!   Oregon,Idaho, Montana, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, and Arizona are indexed and are now being compared and arbitrated for accuracy.  Virginia, Vermont, and  New Hampshire are almost finished.  Delaware and Indiana are almost completed.  According to the1940  monitor at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City UT.  Kansas and Nebraska are about 50% completed. Other states have varying %s.

So until the indexers are done and the indexes have been linked to the images online, here’s what you do:

Access the 1940 Census ED Finder by Stephen P. Morse PhD and Joel D. Weintraub PhD.  This computer utility too, available online for FREE, allows you to obtain the Enumeration District for a 1940 location in One-Step.

  1. If you select your city from the list of cities displayed, you will be able to enter the street-level information where your family lived.
  2. If you select “other” from the city list, you will be able to type in your city or town name.
  3. You can reduce the number of EDs by selecting cross street and back street that complete the city block.
  4. If you know the ED from the 1930 census for the location you want, you can enter it.

The 1940 ED numbers corresponding to the above information will be displayed.  When you click on that number, you will get the 1940 census pages for that enumeration district, the ED description, and the 1940 census streets in that ED.

This remarkable atlas/gazetteer utility incorporates three One-Step tools:

  1. Large City 1940 EDs in One-Step
  2. ED definitions in One-Step
  3. Converting 1930 and 1940 EDs in One-Step

There is also a Tutorial Quiz to help you.  And One-Step also links you to maps of the ED so you can see the cross and back streets.

Using this tool, I quickly found my home where I was three years old in 1940; the home of my paternal grandparents; and the home of my maternal grandparents. Then I drove to Salt Lake City to check out those addresses.  I found the original home where I lived still there–with the window I crawled out [although it was much higher up the wall than I remembered and the tree which was in the front of the house filled the whole yard!]  I found the home of my paternal grandparents–now a series of condominiums.  My maternal grandparents home was torn down and replaced with a small drive-in.

Search the 1940 census for your family–you may find surprises in the data–just as I did.

If you use city directories to locate an address, remember that most of the information collected for the directory required 18 months lead-time.  So the data is actually earlier than the census.  Your favorite genealogist, Arlene Eakle

PS  We owe a real debt of gratitude to the two men, and their volunteers, responsible for this great utility–send them an email of thanks.

PPS  Holly Hansen and I are going to make an impromptu visit to the May monthly meeting of the Fort Kearney Genealogical Society, 24th May 2012. Why not attend and say hello, get help on your latest hard-to-find ancestor, and learn about the big Midwestern Family History Expo planned for Kearney NE on 7-8 September 2012.  We’d love to see you there.

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