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Thread: 1940 US Census

  1. #1
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    Default 1940 US Census

    http://1940census.archives.gov/


    The 1940 census records were released by the US National Archives April 2, 2012, and brought online through a partnership with Archives.com. This website allows you full access to the 1940 census images, in addition to 1940 census maps and descriptions.

  2. #2
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    It will take at least until the middle of April for all the sheets to be scanned. Michigan was not among the first states selected for scanning, unfortunately. Ancestry.com estimates it will take until the end of the year to fully index the 1940 census by names. But it will be interesting to view my own name on a census report, born in 1936 as I was.

  3. #3
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    If you know the address you can use this tool, you'll have to search through multiple pages, but I was browsing the Detroit census records this morning. Click on the link for the ED and it will open the census on the Archives site.

    http://stevemorse.org/census/unified.html

  4. #4
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    Well, fortunately, I knew the address where we lived in 1940 (1108 Beechwood, Grand Rapids, MI), and was able to determine the enumeration district, then I found the pages for it. On the 18th page I reviewed.....there is little old three-year young me!
    After so many years of genealogically reviewing census reports, it was a thrill to finally see my own name on one.

  5. #5
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    I found the correct ED & Block#....how do I locate my ancestor information????

  6. #6
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    Unfortunately, you have to scroll through the different images until you find the street you're looking for.

  7. #7
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    was on ancestry.com last night and found my parents and other relatives. just typed in my grandparents names. i think it free through april 10th

  8. #8
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    Either late Thursday or early Friday all 1940 census scans are now uploaded.
    Finding someone will be a different story for awhile. I hope the indexers-abstracters all have new bi-focals so as to avoid transcription mistakes.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikefmich View Post
    Either late Thursday or early Friday all 1940 census scans are now uploaded.
    Finding someone will be a different story for awhile. I hope the indexers-abstracters all have new bi-focals so as to avoid transcription mistakes.
    Yeah, don't count on it.

    The way the indexing works is two indexers work on the same image. An arbitrator gets those two images and then selects the "correct" parts and/or writes in completely new values. Once the image is arbitrated, it goes to be published. No re-corrects. I will put this as nicely as possible - there are a LOT of arbitrators who should not be within 100 feet of the census and/or indexed pages.

    I've been indexing and honestly, if I didn't do it to want to help others in the long run, I'd have stopped.

    I've had so many batches (pages) that have been massacred by arbitrators. Butchering of really clearly written names (ie: Mack to Mark, Dewey to Derneey, McIllwain to McIlwain, Eva to Era, Paul became Reed etc etc), stupid spelling issues (like changing the town name of Pensacola to Pensicola), and that's not even counting the "format" errors like filling in fictional places for "residence 5 years ago" for children under 4, or incorrectly adding in lines that should have been blank. One family I indexed will even have 25 phantom children with no names or ages.

    So many others are having the same issues and it's frustrating to know that NOTHING is being done to a) correct the records that will be published and b) stop the moron arbitrators from making the whole thing a huge joke.

    At any rate, be prepared to still have to search page by page through the census, even if you are looking up what would be considered an "easy" name.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the heads up Courtney. An even bigger thanks for indexing the census!

  11. #11
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    Any of you guys waiting for the index for Michigan to be done on Familysearch.org will have wait quite a while longer. The batches (census sheets) being given out now are only up to Livingston County, and it goes in alphabetical order, so probably just more 1/4th have been completed.

    For a little "funny" to show that you might need to search harder than you'd think once the index is up, here is an example of the great stuff that comes through without being caught - https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/VR63-BJ4 . So you can imagine that badly butchered (by the indexer) last names will be getting through as well.

  12. #12
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    I'm also doing indexing and the last three batches I got were from Detroit. One in particular was fascinating and challenging. It was for a hotel on Congress and looked like a little United Nations. There were people there from Syria, Turkey, Russia, Poland, Italy. Ireland, England and probably a bunch more that I can't remember. There also seemed to be quite a few people from Pennsylvania and Canada.

  13. #13
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    I just read that Michigan is now fully indexed. Haven't checked yet to verify.

  14. #14
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    I found my grandparents via the newly indexed Michigan census. funny though my mother who would have been 2.5 years old is no where to be found no idea where they were hiding her or why they dont have her listed in the home..if she didnt look exactly like her mother I would think she was adopted. I need somone to invent a time machine so I can fill in these blasted gaps. I was also able to find my father, hard to explain but seeing his little self on that paper did my heart good.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crystal View Post
    I just read that Michigan is now fully indexed. Haven't checked yet to verify.
    As I understand it, there are three seperate groups indexing the 1940 Census. I'm a volunteer indexer for familysearch.org and Michigan is not yet complete. Ancestry.com has completed their indexing of Michigan. I'm not sure who the third group is.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by courtney View Post
    Yeah, don't count on it.

    The way the indexing works is two indexers work on the same image. An arbitrator gets those two images and then selects the "correct" parts and/or writes in completely new values. Once the image is arbitrated, it goes to be published. No re-corrects. I will put this as nicely as possible - there are a LOT of arbitrators who should not be within 100 feet of the census and/or indexed pages.

    I've been indexing and honestly, if I didn't do it to want to help others in the long run, I'd have stopped.

    I've had so many batches (pages) that have been massacred by arbitrators. Butchering of really clearly written names (ie: Mack to Mark, Dewey to Derneey, McIllwain to McIlwain, Eva to Era, Paul became Reed etc etc), stupid spelling issues (like changing the town name of Pensacola to Pensicola), and that's not even counting the "format" errors like filling in fictional places for "residence 5 years ago" for children under 4, or incorrectly adding in lines that should have been blank. One family I indexed will even have 25 phantom children with no names or ages.

    So many others are having the same issues and it's frustrating to know that NOTHING is being done to a) correct the records that will be published and b) stop the moron arbitrators from making the whole thing a huge joke.

    At any rate, be prepared to still have to search page by page through the census, even if you are looking up what would be considered an "easy" name.
    Wow.....I just noticed your post Courtney. I'd love to speak further about this stuff. I complain to Ancestry.....a LOT.

  17. #17
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    You know, the more I look at the Ancestry.com results for 1940 census indexing, the better I feel about the Familysearch indexing. (FWIW, Ancestry.com was supposed to, at first, use college students from University of Minnesota. Later they stated that they were going with "several indexing companies" - they previously in 2010 stated they used two places in China and one in Uganda, previous to that, they used a company in India. Their results are obviously from those without a firm grasp of English and in fact, I'd be stunned if their country of origin used Latin letters)

    From 1 page in Mason City, Iowa -

    - Hazel Molsburry indexed as Hazel Molaberry
    - Ethel P turned into Ethel R
    - Michael Zack turned into Michaed Zack
    - Vivian R Zack turned into Virran R Zack
    - Charles and Effie Fields both had their last name turned into Fielda
    - my great-great grandfather, Cornelius J Jansen turned into Camelius J Gansen
    - Jerome E Bruner turned into Jorome E Bruner

    And this was a pretty well written page. I'd hate to see what happens to the not so well written pages.

    Some of these errors are absolutely going to make it impossible to easily find people. Additionally, for some reason, I'm finding that when a name, ie: McCuen, was indexed as Mc Cuen (despite it being smashed together on the actual page), searching mcc* will NOT find the result and even specifying a tiny town in South Carolina for searching mc* said I had too many results. So be prepared to get creative or go through lots of pages yourself to find them. That will, in some of the cases, be a whole lot faster than trying to search 239587235 ways for a name you'll likely find was butchered in indexing.

  18. #18
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    I, too, am having better luck on FamilySearch.com over Ancestry.com. Finding names on FS that don't appear on Ancestry. Interesting. However, ancestry now claims to have all 50 states on line; FS has a little over half.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wintersmommy View Post
    I found my grandparents via the newly indexed Michigan census. funny though my mother who would have been 2.5 years old is no where to be found no idea where they were hiding her or why they dont have her listed in the home..if she didnt look exactly like her mother I would think she was adopted. I need somone to invent a time machine so I can fill in these blasted gaps. I was also able to find my father, hard to explain but seeing his little self on that paper did my heart good.
    I have a similar situation! My Grandmother would have been 11 years old. Her mother and grandparents are all listed, but my Grandma is missing. The funny thing is that it lists my GG Grandmother on the supplemental questions as not having any children, yet my Great Grandma is listed as daughter on the census, lol.
    Last edited by Lferg; August-14-12 at 05:08 PM.

  20. #20
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    The census taker was counting all people in the household. Is it possible these children were temporarily living elsewhere?

    I found my grandmother listed in her grandfather's house as his daughter.

  21. #21
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    I guess anything is possible, but I can't imagine where she could have been, she's not on her Uncle's census record either and she was only 11 years old. I think in my case it might be more of a language issue.

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