1940 Census Records
Using 1940 Census Records for Genealogy
As we prepare to use 1940 Census Records to unravel existing clues, there are plenty of things you can do to be prepared. Using other information on this site (see the 1940 Census Overview page), take some time to become more generally familiar with the 1940 Census Form and the questions asked on the 1940 census. By the time the 1940 Census Records become available, you'll already know what to expect in that regard and won't waste valuable time on trying to read column headers.
Keep in mind that 1940 census records will also double in some ways as a '1935 census' since questions 17 through 20 deal specifically with the location and status for individuals in that mid-point between the 1930 Census and the 1940 Census.
The best preparation you can do, however, is to simply create a list of your direct line ancestors (and perhaps some aunts and uncles) and note where they were living in 1930 — be as precise as you can, including state, county or parish, city or town, and their ward and street address if known. Allow for the fact that the great depression throughout the early 1930s saw many families move, so don't be surprised if yours was also among that group. Even if your ancestors stayed in the same house, the definitions of wards and enumeration districts likely changed and so you'll need to pay close attention to 1940 census records until an index has been created and made available online.
As more information becomes available for 1940 census records, we'll do our best to share it on our site so check back often.
If you know of other 1940 census or other helpful genealogy sites, please contact us.