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# Monday, June 18, 2012
1940 Census: Big Deal or Not?
Posted by Diane

Genea-Musings blogger Randy Seaver has posted a response to a letter to the editor printed in the July/August Family Tree Magazine. The letter-writer thought that we at Family Tree Magazine, as well as other genealogy organizations, got overly giddy about the 1940 census. He thought that the time spent browsing for an ancestor's listing in the then-unindexed 1940 census yields little to no new genealogical information (now, though, 24 states are searchable by name).

Randy disagreed—you can see why in his post—and he wants to know what others think.

Personally, I've found the census useful. In some cases, I just confirmed what I knew; in others, I found evidence to support educated guesses. And as Randy points out, until you check a record, you don't know whether it'll hold a surprise. I was looking for someone else entirely when I found my grandfather staying at the YMCA in Cincinnati. When the Ohio name index comes out, you can bet I'll be searching for my grandma, who met my grandfather here soon after 1940.

A Family Tree Magazine Facebook fan says she's using the 1940 census to help in her search for living relatives. Another Facebook fan gets a kick out of finding his family members' names, whether he learns anything new or not. So do I! What about you?


census records | Family Tree Magazine articles | Genealogy Industry
Monday, June 18, 2012 3:02:12 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 5:57:02 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
I can't remember my exact prior comments about the 1940 census, but generally I found the hype to be extremely overblown. I didn't find much of the information on the census to that helpful genealogically. Some of the information included on the census was much more useful sociologically.
Jeff Ford
Comments are closed.