1940 Census Release Date
The 1940 U.S. Federal Census was conducted based on a census date of April 1, 1940. Given the seventy-two year privacy restriction, family historians will need to wait until April 2, 2012 before they can inspect schedules from the sixteenth census of the United States. The census counted a total of nearly 132.2 million people living in 48 states.
Just -1281 days until the 1940 Census release date!
Since April 1st falls on a Sunday in 2012, we'll have to wait an additional day to access the 1940 census schedules, but recent announcements from officials at the National Archives have indicated the schedules are already scanned and being prepped for digital release through the NARA website, rather than microfilm as has been done in previous years.
Questions Asked on the 1940 Census
The Bureau of the Census (Department of Commerce) provided standardized forms in 1940 for all Enumerators as in previous years. The standard Population Schedule had 34 questions and more than a dozen Supplemental Questions asked only for those persons who were enumerated on specified lines. This was the means used to ensure a random nature in obtaining supplemental information. Learn more about Questions Asked on the 1940 Census.
1940 Map of the United States
By 1940, the outline of the United States and the individual borders for the 48 contiguous states had become familiar to many, both in America and elsewhere throughout the world. The American Flag would display 48 stars, one for each state, for more than four decades. Those researching their family history are encouraged to understand the geographic area where their ancestors lived. This is especially true if your ancestors lived in the northeast or in border towns. It's possible that a move just a few miles away could result in a new state of residence. View 1940 Map of the U.S..
1940 Census — Street Transcription Project
On 01 April 2012, the 1940 Census will be released from the 72-year privacy mandate and family historians will flood to National Archives in search of ancestors. BUT there will not be an index available and so researchers will be required to know the Enumeration District in the city or town where their ancestors lived. If you would like to help in this effort, visit www.stevemorse.org for more details about a project to create a free time-saving tool for your fellow genealogists throughout the world.
Other Useful Sites for Genealogy & Family History Research
As you research your family history, you will quickly realize the 1940 census is not the only source, nor can any one source answer all your questions. This is true for original source material, physical archives, and those archives that have been digitized and transcribed for online searching via the Internet.
Here are some other genealogy sites our visitors have found useful:
¤ Genealogy 101 Tips for Beginners & Free forms
¤ FamilySearch (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)
¤ Ellis Island (The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation)
¤ American Immigrant Wall of Honor at Ellis Island
¤ 1880 Census - free details for researching 1880 census records
¤ 1900 Census - free details for researching 1900 census records
¤ 1930 Census - free details for researching 1930 census records
¤ Vital Records tips at The Family History Zone
¤ New York Passenger Lists, detail about the Port of NY
¤ SteveMorse.org (One Step Search - including 1940 census)
¤ Genealogy Books (Google Your Family Tree)
¤ Genealogy Forms (Free Downloadable Charts & Forms)
¤ APG (Association of Professional Genealogists)
¤ Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter (by Dick Eastman)
¤ Internet Genealogy (from the publishers of Family Chronicle)
If you know of other free sites that are particularly helpful, please contact us.