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<2012 April>

More Links

# Thursday, 05 April 2012
1940 Census Status Update: Where to Find Records for Your Ancestor's State
Posted by Diane
  • Complete: Alabama, American Samoa, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Panama Canal Zone, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

  • Almost complete: Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, North Dakota

  • Next up: Maryland, Minnesota, Puerto Rico, South Carolina
  • Alabama
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Virginia
MyHeritage: Records for all states are available now, as is an index to Bristol County, RI

National Archives: all states available | census records | FamilySearch | Free Databases | MyHeritage | NARA
Thursday, 05 April 2012 16:24:31 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Get Minnesota Genealogy Tips & Resources
Posted by Diane

If you've got roots in Minnesota, you should know the state has a lot more than lakes, the Mall of America and Garrison Keillor.

Minnesota also is a resource-rich state for discovering your family history, as you'll learn in our April 25 Minnesota Genealogy Crash Course: Find Your North Star State Ancestors webinar.

Minnesota Genealogy Crash Course webinar Family Tree Magazine

Lifelong Minnesotan and genealogy expert <a href=" http:="""" target="_blank" border="0">Paula Stuart-Warren will spill secrets and share her favorite sources for finding Minnesota ancestors, which include the terrific Minnesota Historical Society (it has great online resources, too) and regular state censuses from 1865 to 1905. 

Whether you come from Minnesota's American Indian residents, early fur traders and soldiers, or later German and Scandinavian settlers, you'll learn how to find ancestor answers.

Here are the details: 

  • Date: Wednesday, April 25
  • Starting time: 8 p.m. Eastern (7 Central/ 6 Mountain/ 5 Pacific)
  • Presenter: Paula Stuart-Warren
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Price: $39.99 when you register before April 18

Click here to register for the Minnesota Genealogy Crash Course at

Editor's Pick | Research Tips | Webinars
Thursday, 05 April 2012 09:49:14 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Just How Popular Is the 1940 Census?
Posted by Diane

Remember how it was nearly impossible to access the 1940 census on the National Archives website Monday? (Things are much better now that, which designed the site, has made improvements, and other 1940 census websites are taking on some of the traffic burden.)

These statistics, which made nice and pretty for you, explain why:

1940 census | census records | NARA
Thursday, 05 April 2012 08:32:07 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Wednesday, 04 April 2012
1940 Census Status Update, PM Edition: Where to Find the Records You Need
Posted by Diane
  • Complete: Alabama, American Samoa, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Guam, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Missuori, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Panama Canal Zone, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, Wyoming

  • Almost complete: Illinois, West Virginia

  • Next up: Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin
  • Alabama
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Virginia

FamilySearch also reported that 1940 Census Community Project volunteer indexers have finished indexing records for Delaware; the index is being processed (it's not yet on the site).

MyHeritage: Records for all states are available now, as is a name index to Bristol County, RI

National Archives: Records for all states are available

See Family Tree Magazine's expert census research tools and guides in | census records | FamilySearch | MyHeritage | NARA
Wednesday, 04 April 2012 16:45:36 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
1940 Census Searches Done for You
Posted by Diane, a site from brightsolid—a partner in FamilySearch's 1940 Census Community project, creator of the recently launched site, and future host of 1940 census records—has announced a new "We'll find them for you" service.

Visit, submit the name and state of the person you plan to search for, plus other details you might know, and you'll get an email from when the person’s indexed record becomes available on the site.

This will start working as name indexes are made available for 1940 census records. is promoting something along similar lines include —if you have a family tree there, you'll get a notification when a 1940 census record matches anyone on your tree.

On, you'll presumably get a "shaky leaf" hint if an indexed 1940 census record matches someone in your Ancestry Member tree. | census records | MyHeritage
Wednesday, 04 April 2012 15:45:05 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Using 1940 Census Records on MyHeritage
Posted by Diane

That was fast! MyHeritage announced last night it's the first commercial company to complete its collection of 1940 census images.

The company also published the first searchable index, for Bristol County, RI.

I checked out the MyHeritage 1940 census collection while searching for my grandfather in Bellevue, Campbell County, Kentucky. My mom has taken me to see the house, so I was able to use the One-Step Ed finder to determine the enumeration district.

Then on the MyHeritage site, I chose a state and plugged in the ED number. (If I didn't have the ED, I could use the keyword field to type terms that might appear in an ED description, such as a street name or institution name.)

This pulled up census records matching that ED.

Clicking on the title brought a page with the ED description and a small view of the first page. I clicked the Full Screen button.

Here's the first page of the records in the Myheritage image viewer:

It's pretty straightforward: Zoom in or out with the buttons on the left, use the arrows to page forward and back, and use the X in the top right to close the viewer and return to the record description. The only thing that bugs me is that you can't type in a page number. If you're on page 20 of the records and you want to go back to page 2, you have to click the back arrow 18 times. 

I easily found my great-grandmother and her family, including my grandfather, on Covert Run Pike.

A "suppl quest" label to the left of Great-grandma Mamie's name indicates she answered the extra questions at the bottom of the schedule.

She was 20 when she married and this was her only marriage, and she had four children (the schedule states stillbirths aren't to be included in this total, but unless we have a big family secret, she did count her stillborn baby boy).

Click the download icon at the top right of the image viewer to save the record image. On my computer, this opened the file in a new browser tab—just right-click or control-click to save it to your computer.

census records | MyHeritage
Wednesday, 04 April 2012 14:17:43 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
1940 Census Status Update: Where to Find Records for the State You Need
Posted by Diane
  • Complete: American Samoa, California, Delaware, District of Columbia, Guam, Indiana, Maine, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Panama Canal Zone, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington
  • Almost complete: Kansas, Nebraska
  • Next up: Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Nebraska, Oregon, Vermont


  • Alabama
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Kansas
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Virginia

MyHeritage: all states available

National Archives: all states available | census records | FamilySearch | MyHeritage | NARA
Wednesday, 04 April 2012 09:58:04 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
Using the 1940 Census Collection on FamilySearch
Posted by Diane

We've blogged about using 1940 census records on the National Archives site and

When FamilySearch uploaded records for Florida, I started looking there for my great-great-grandfather who died in 1942 at the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America retirement home in Lakeland, Polk County.

I didn't know when he moved there, but I was hoping it was before 1940.

The One-Step Unified ED Finder gave me 22 potential enumeration districts (EDs) to search. Yikes.

FamilySearch 1940 census

But on FamilySearch's 1940 census pages, you can type in keywords from an ED description. I was hoping "Carpenter's Home" would be in the description for the ED I needed. Here's how it works:

On FamilySearch's 1940 census page, I clicked Florida. On the next page, chose the county and typed carpenters home into the box labeled "city, township or enumeration district description."

FamilySearch 1940 census

I clicked search, and sure enough, there were two EDs containing the words "Carpenter's Home." So much better than 22. (Interestingly, these EDs weren't in the list I got from the One-Step ED Finder. Even though the home's address is Lakeland, I see that the EDs are categorized as "outside city limits.")

FamilySearch 1940 census

I went with the first option and clicked the link for Election Precinct 23 Carpenters Home (ED 53-85). Here's the first page of that ED:

FamilySearch 1940 census

I used the gray arrows at the upper right to flip to the next pages. On page four, the entries went from being handwritten to typed in alphabetical order (perhaps these residents were unable to answer the enumerator's questions, and their answers were compiled from the home's records).

There was my great-great-grandfather George Frost.

FamilySearch 1940 census

The columns for residence as of April 1, 1935, show he'd moved into the home by that date.

I clicked Save at the top of the page to download the record. The file is named "record image," so you'll want to rename it right away to something meaningful for your research.

census records | FamilySearch
Wednesday, 04 April 2012 09:47:37 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 03 April 2012
1940 Census Status Update: Which States Are Where
Posted by Diane

1940 census record images for the entire United States are at Here's where else to look for records from your ancestral states:

  • Complete: American Samoa, Delaware, District of Columbia, Guam, Indiana, Maine, Nevada, Panama Canal Zone, Rhode Island, Virgin Islands
  • Almost complete: California, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington
  • Next up: Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon & Vermont.


  • Alabama
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Kansas
  • Oregon
  • Virginia


  • California
  • Illinois
  • Massachusetts
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island (an index for Bristol County, RI, is available)
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Wyoming | census records | FamilySearch | MyHeritage | NARA
Tuesday, 03 April 2012 17:02:43 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Finding Family in the 1940 Census on
Posted by Diane

When I noticed last night that had posted 1940 US census records for Indiana, I decided to look for relatives there even though I hadn't done my enumeration district (ED) homework for them. I did know where these particular relatives lived.

I started with's collection of 1940 enumeration district maps.

In this collection, if you search, you'll get the ED descriptions (listing boundaries of the ED, or areas covered), which are linked to maps. Enter the city, county and state for the location, and a word, such as a street name, that might appear in the description.

If you browse, you go straight to the maps (annoyingly, it doesn't seem easy to go from the map to the accompanying description—this is done much more easily on the National Archives 1940 census website).

I decided to browse. I chose the state and county, and selected "other places" for the city.

This ED map has four pages, and it was easy to find Fairland on the first page.

I wasn't sure which number on the map was the ED I needed, so I opened a new window to search' 1940 census records. (Wouldn't it be SO COOL if the ED maps were linked to the census collection? But they're not, so you'll wan to have the map available to refer back to if you need it.) 

Under Browse This Collection, I chose Indiana, Shelby County, and since Fairland wasn't listed under Populated Place, I picked Brandywine, the township it's in. 73-10 popped up as the ED, which looks right from the ED map. 

I clicked on 73-10 and the first page of records from that ED appeared. I flipped through the pages using the arrows above the record (you also could type in a number to jump ahead several pages).

Tip: If you know the street name where your family lived, check the left edge of the page. Enumerators wrote street names here, so you can see if you're on the right track or skip to the page(s) with the street you need. 

Except my family wasn't in these records. 

Back on the ED map, I roughly traced the farm's location. It's a little north of Fairland, near where Van Buren is marked on the map. 

Now back in the 1940 census collection, I clicked on Brandywine in the "breadcrumb trail" at the top of the page and switched to Van Buren township.

More clicking through pages—and I found them! My great-uncle was one of the two people per page to answer the supplemental questions. (Learn more about the 1940 census questions here.) 

That was fairly easy, since the family lived in a small town. Trying to find my Cincinnati ancestors without an ED was a different story. I had no problem finding where they lived (circled) on an ED map:

But what's the ED number? The map has several faded numbers on it. I tried browsing records from EDs 91-11, 91-12, among others, but none were for this area. Searching the ED descriptions wasn't helpful, either. It would've been a lot faster to use the One-Step 1940 ED Finder before beginning.

On the plus side, I did unintentionally find my grandfather who wasn't from Cincinnati! I noticed the YMCA was in one of the EDs I was searching, and remembered a story from when I was little about my grandfather staying there (we talked about it whenever we heard the "YMCA" song). But I didn't know when. Well, it just happened to be in 1940. Once I find my grandmother, maybe I can figure out where a farm girl from Indiana met a guy from Texas and Cleveland. | census records
Tuesday, 03 April 2012 11:45:37 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]