1940 census count goes online

Marc Sanchez Apr 3, 2012

Yesterday was the big payoff for salivating genealogists, history buffs, and data crunchers. After years of uploading and digitizing microfilm and after the 72-year waiting period ended, the National Archive has made the 1940 census searchable online. It seems as though people were pretty eager to dig into the past. From the National Archives Twitter feed: “Since 9 a.m., we’ve had 37 million hits to the#1940Census site. We’re continuing to work on the web site and will update here.”

If you’re interested in diving into your history, or the history of any of the 131+ million Americans who participated in the census that year, you should get familiar with the term “enumeration district numbers,” which the Atlantic reports are “small geographical units that structure the organization’s paperwork. If you know an address where your family lived, you’ll be able to find the enumeration district on the National Archives website or on this great index site created by Steve Morse.”

The National Archive has put a call out to volunteers to help them index the site to be searchable by name. I suppose they have 10 years to get it done, since that’s when the 1950 census will be uploaded.


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