What will you find? You will be able to view the actual image of pages recorded 72 years ago when census takers knocked on your ancestors' doors and asked the questions included in census returns for the year 1940. Approximately 132 million people are included in the 1940 census records.
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1940 Census Questions
The 16th census enumeration of population of the United States is the 1940 census.
The 1940 census streamed online with free access on April 2, 2012, making it the first Federal census to be available immediately in digital format and best of all, it is completely free to the public.
The 1940 census upon release does not have a Soundex or any type of name index but is quickly being indexed by both Ancestry and FamilySearch.org and will very soon feature a complete 1940 census index which will include every name of all 132 million people whose information was recorded in the 1940 census records. What an exciting time for those of you searching for your family history!
1940 Census Questions, included many questions which were only asked by about 5% of the population. In the past, censuses, we have been able to find the birthplace of the mother and father of each person who was recorded on the census. This is not the case with the 1940 census. There are questions on this census which were only asked of 2 persons on each census page and two of those questions are: Where was your father born? AND Where was your mother born? This will be frustrating for many genealogical researchers.
The 1940 census includes names of members of the household who are temporarily absent. This is something we haven't seen before and may prove to be helpful. Oftentimes, if someone was just away when the census taker came around, that person was not even recorded in a household. This will help for household members who are away on business or away because they are in the military, among other reasons.
New questions on the 1940 census about the marital status and children of women may be very helpful to genealogical researchers. Women were asked if they had been married more than once, age at first marriage and how many live children they have borne. This may tell you if the wife of your great grandpa was married before or if she had more children than you know of. These can be vital clues to finding more valuable information about your ancestors and their families.
The 1940 census provides more in-depth information about the occupation of a person than any census previously enumerated in the history of the United States. Find out what your great great grandpa did for a living, who he worked for, even how much money he made in 1939!
The 1940 census release creates an exciting time for those of us who love family history research. I hope you will find new branches for your family tree and have lots of fun while searching for those elusive ancestors.
You will find the 1940 census images and the new 1940 census index which is being created as soon as it is available along with all 1790-1940 US Census Records and Census Indexes with a Free Trial of Ancestry.
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