Today’s Family Tree Friday is brought to you by Constance Potter, Archivist in the Archives I Research Support Branch.
The 1940 census opens on April 2, 2012. For the first time, the census will be released digitally, not on microfilm.
As with other censuses, this one reflects the previous decade of the 1930s and the Great Depression. To show these changes, the 1940 census asked several new questions. Over the next year, we will focus either on a particular question or an interesting instruction to the enumerators. Because of the 72-year restriction on access to the records, we will not be able to show samples of the records until after April 2, 2012.
Who is to be enumerated: Enumerate all men, women, and children (including infants) whose usual place of residence (the place where they “live” or have their “home”) is in your district, including persons temporarily absent; all persons who are in your district at the time of the enumeration who have no usual place of residence elsewhere from which they will be reported; and all persons who move into your district after the enumeration begins and who have not previously been enumerated. Enumerate as residents of the institution all inmates of a jail, however short their term of sentence, and all inmates of a prison, home for orphans, or similar institution located in your district in which persons remain for long periods of time.
Procedure for enumeration of persons in hotels, tourist homes or camps, trailer camps, one-night lodging houses, etc.—Persons in hotels, tourist or trailer camps, missions, and cheap one-night lodging houses (flophouses) will all be enumerated as of the evening of April 8th. You are to complete the enumeration of all tourist or trailer camps, missions, and cheap one-night lodging houses in your district on the evening of April 8th, and of all hotels in your district on April 9th, except that it may be necessary to make callbacks after April 9th for hotels. If it is not possible for you to complete the enumeration of these places on the specified days without assistance, be sure to notify your Supervisor so that he may provide you with the necessary assistance.
Check back next month for another post on the 1940 census. In the meantime, check out our website for more information.