Just a week ago, on April 2nd, the 1940 United States Census was finally released and is now being indexed by a community of volunteers. My husband and I enjoy doing family history work and I’ve found the US Census to be a great starting point for finding our family lines and connecting cousins and other lines of the family. So many times we have found random family member show up listed as living with the family line we were searching. This gave us a bit of a window into the lives of our ancestors as we have found in-laws, elderly, and even nieces and nephews that were ready to move out of their own home living with our direct descendents. Searching on the census reports can sometimes be difficult or confusing when the family may have moved, but it has still been invaluable to our research and the very first place we always turn.
After 72 years being held under embargo for the privacy of those individuals still living, the 1940 Census is finally available and a free index and image will become available as the work is completed by those volunteers willing to help. Did you know that there was 132 million people living in the Continental United States in 1940? What a great way to search the records and work on your family history and see what lines and pieces you can fit into your own personal family puzzle. Plus, some new questions were added to the 1940 census that may give you even new insights to your family line, like where your family may have lived 5 years prior, their highest educational level, and even income and occupation information.
For those already interested in family history, you’ll be excited to see what information you may be able to uncover. If you’ve never researched your ancestors, now is a great time to start and learn with your posterity by seeing if you can find your grandparents or great-grandparents, the perfect place to start!