Saturday, March 31, 2012

Are You Ready for the 1940 Census?

Are you ready? The 1940 census will be made available this Monday, April 2, 2012.

If you have done your homework, you have the enumeration district (EDs) numbers for your people ready and in-hand. With that information you’ll be able to page through those EDs to find the records you seek. If you haven’t done your homework, go to Steve Morse’s One Step Webpages for great tools and finding aids under US Census and get cracking!!

Though the 1940 census will become available it will not be indexed, thus the need for all the labor intensive activity above. Upon its release, the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project, a joint initiative between, FamilySearch,, and other leading genealogy organizations, will coordinate efforts to provide quick access to these digital images and immediately start indexing these records to make them searchable online with free and open access.

This is where we come in. We as individuals and as a Society working within the 1940 U.S Census Community Project can be part of preparing an index to this Census. We can be part of a major initiative which will benefit not only genealogist today, but for generations to come. The more indexers we have working, the quicker the work will be completed. Many indexers donating a few hours will accomplish the job in no time.

To be part of this great endeavor, just go to and register as an indexer. You’ll need to download the indexing software and then you’ll be ready to go. The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) is partnering with the Census Community and would love to have you as part of the ISGS group. When you register, just choose the Illinois State Genealogical Society as your group on your profile page. ISGS will keep you updated as the work goes on and when Illinois be accessible for indexing.

The first States to be available for indexing will be Delaware, Colorado, Virginia, Kansas, and Oregon. They will be ready to be worked on by 6:00pm on Monday. The rest of the States will be accessible over the next ten days.

There are lots of helps available for training. Why not join the effort?

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