Family Tree Friday: Get Ready for the 1940 Census!

Do you know where your family was living in 1935?  Did your grandfather work for the WPA or the CCC?  The 1940 census may provide the answers to these questions and more.


The 1940 census won’t be released until 2012, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start getting ready for it now.  Check out our 1940 web page to see a list of questions asked and some tips to help you start preparing for the census.   There are also some neat training videos produced by the Census Bureau for the enumerators.  We plan to add more information, so keep checking back.

What are you excited about finding in the 1940 census?

5 thoughts on “Family Tree Friday: Get Ready for the 1940 Census!

  1. Thanks for the genealogy blog entries. I’d love to see some entries on the records that genealogists might not be so familiar with but which are great for genealogy such as Federal court records or Customs Bureau records. Will you have your staff from the Regions also contributing to the Family Tree Friday blog? It would be great to hear about the records found throughout NARA that are useful for genealogists.

    1. Hi Becky,

      Thanks for the suggestions. We would like to feature a variety of records in the Family Tree Friday posts – both frequently used records as well as lesser used records, such as Federal court records. By doing this we hope to get both beginning genealogists and more advanced researchers involved. We would definitely like the regions to be involved eventually.

  2. With most of the baby boomers aging, the release of the 1940 Census will provide the opportunity to “connect family” before WWII, and before, they, themselves become senile or disinterested in doing the research, or sidelined by illness, etc.

    Why the release must wait until 2012 is unclear, especially given the fact that about 80% of the population is currently interested in genealogy, and in leaving organized family histories. Where the 1940 is an even 70 years from today’s 2010 date, the extra 2 years doesn’t seem to provide extra incentive to withhold its release – given the critical nature of the 1940 census as pre-WWII.

    1. Hi Pat,

      You raise some good points. The 1940 census will be very useful for many researchers. As the law stands today (92 Stat. 915; Public Law 95-416; October 5, 1978), access is restricted for 72 years. There’s a fine line between privacy and access that has to be observed – and privacy concerns generally trump everything else.

      – Katherine

  3. Well how can we go about getting this 72 year thing changed? I am not saying that we need to see the info on the 2010 census but come on 72 years is way to long in my opinion. Especially in an age when most people can be found just by putting thier name into google and you can even get a map with their house on it.

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