Thursday, March 22, 2012

1940 Census is Coming! Learn More April 7

On April 2, the National Archives and Records Administration releases the long awaited 1940 census. Due to the personal information on the census schedules, federal law requires that they be locked from public view for 72 years.  The census is a key resource for family historians and often provides clues to other records. The 1940 census marks the first time census records will be offered free online.

In addition to information about all members of the household including age, sex, ethnicity, citizenship status and occupation, the 1940 census provides important information not offered on previous census schedules:
Street address
•Persons absent from household
•Person providing information
•More detailed employment data, including income and public relief
•Residence in 1935

The 1940 census comes with a giant caveat.  Initially, it will not contain a surname index.  All searches will require a geographic approach by street address or enumeration district.  The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, one of the few libraries in the nation that owns copies of all available U.S. census records dating back to 1790 and a nationally ranked genealogy department, is ready to assist.  The Genealogy and Local History Department has acquired 1940 directories for over 3,000 U.S. cities, large and small, to assist with the search for street addresses.  The librarians have undergone special 1940 census training and have developed tools to assist with the online search, including specialized maps and expertise with websites to identify enumeration districts. As an added bonus, the Library will place orders for 1940 census records on April 2 for 1940 Ohio census records on microfilm, courtesy of the Friends of the Public Library and the Library Foundation.  These records will provide important archival backup and are easier to browse than loading individual pages on many websites.

Presentation, April 7
Five days after the release on April 7, the Genealogy and Local History Department kicks off the census with a special program by Department Manager Patricia Van Skaik, 1940 Census Is Here: Techniques for Achieving Top Search Results. This program will provide strategies for accessing the wealth of new information available in the 1940 census. Cincinnatians will have the opportunity to attend this program one week in advance of its presentation in Cleveland at the Ohio Genealogical Society Conference.

About the presenter:
Patricia Van Skaik is an expert in census research.  Out of town librarians have come to Cincinnati to consult with her on 1940 census preparedness. Ms. Van Skaik also conferred with database providers in February for information about how online access to the 1940 census would function. Ms. Van Skaik is a recipient of the RootsTech Distinguished Speaker Award and lectures widely on the intersection of history, technology and librarianship.

1940 Census Online Providers
National Archives and Records Administration,

Find My Past

Volunteer to Help Create a Surname Index

For more information and Countdowns

Video on the 1940 census:

Watch Twitter @cincylibrary or contact the Genealogy and Local History Department at 513-369-6905 or “Ask a Librarian” through the Library’s website,

From Press Release - submitted by Liz Stratton

1 comment:

  1. Hello, I was wondering if I could get the records of one person that was at the institution in 1935-1940, maybe even longer. She is my grandmother and I've been looking for her grave a very long time. I came across this information with her name on it. Please let me know asap, thank you, Jeanette


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