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1940 Census Release

Posted by Grace Mitchell on September 11th 2012 under Census

1940 CensusAfter 72 long years – the mandatory waiting period established by the government – the 1940 census is available to the public!  The first census was taken in 1790, and over the years, this tool used to monitor population growth and determine the number of delegates needed in the House of Representatives per region. Use the 1940 census to delve further into your family history search following these tips.

Why the 1940 Census is Important to Genealogy

Using census information to research your family history is often helpful, revealing additional facts about your ancestors that might not be outlined in other types of records. With each new release of a census, more information can be gathered, and you can get a more complete feel of how the lives changed every ten years for your ancestors. Here are some things you can learn from the 1940 census:

  • In 1940, census takers went door to door taking information, so it is more complete than other years where forms were filled out and mailed in.
  • You’ll see the full name of the head of household, along with age, address, occupation, place of birth, citizenship, gender, race, highest level of schooling completed and marital status.
  • The 1940 census also lists the full names and identifying information of every person in the household and named the relationship to the head of household.
  • For each person over 14 years old, employment details were requested, including employer, wages, occupation title or information on length of unemployment.
  • Also included is whether the residence is classified a farm, the value of the house if owned or amount of rent paid and residence location in 1935.
  • Using 1940 Census Archives Gov to Find Ancestors

    The National Archives created a website specifically for those wanting to learn more about it and how to search it for information on relatives. The 1940 census archives gov website gives a detailed overview of the 1940 census and its significance to history and those interested in genealogy.

  • The 1940 census archives gov website advises users to search by enumeration district, so knowing the location of the person you’re looking for is key.
  • Search by location to find the enumeration district, and then browse the scanned images to locate your ancestor’s information.
  • If you know the enumeration district number from the 1930 census, the 1940 census archives gov website will help you convert the number for the 1940 census.
  • Learning About Your Ancestors is Fun

    Once you locate your family member on the census image, you can save it, print it and then share it with others. Enjoy reading about the specifics of your ancestor’s life, including occupation details with wage information, whether he owned his home or not, place of birth and who was living there at the time.

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