Tuesday, April 3, 2012

My First Find in the 1940 Census

Like many people, I was waiting anxiously Monday at 9:00 a.m. Eastern time (which was 6:00 a.m. for me in California) to make my first search in the 1940 census.  I had prepared ahead of time -- I had looked for my person in a 1940 San Francisco city directory and then used Steve Morse's One-Step site to determine the enumeration district ahead of time.  And like many, many people, I was disappointed when images would not load.  After seeing lots of reports about how the system was overloaded or crashed, I decided to wait yet another day and see if the glitches were worked out quickly.

My patience was rewarded tonight.  I found the person I was looking for (the name on the clip above is actually Elmira, not Elmer; it's a good thing I knew what it should be) in exactly the place she was supposed to be, and it was only the fourth page in the E.D.

Unfortunately, I haven't had time to look up any more addresses yet!  But from what I gather, Steve Morse's site did not crash as he had anticipated, so soon I hope to be merrily collecting lots of census pages and learning more about family members.  I hope everyone else has had at least one success -- tell me what you have found!


  1. Thanks for giving the link to how to find the enumeration district. It was a little confusing since it seems to be oriented towards cities, while I was looking for my parents and grandparents in a rural area ( town of Kendall, Orleans County NY). I found my mother living with her parents and my father living with his grandparents and uncle. I also found another aunt and uncle of my mother and a lot of people from the town who my parents and grandparents knew and talked about.

  2. I'm glad to hear you found them! Yes, Steve's enumeration district tool is geared for larger cities because it is much more difficult to slot through huge numbers of people. If you know your family was in a less-populated area, it is generally not too difficult to go page by page through the town, or even a county sometimes. That's what I'll be doing for my aunt's family in Warren County, New York.


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