Update – How to Find your Ancestors in the 1940 Federal Census

Right now finding your ancestors in the 1940 Federal Census records is a challenge because most are not indexed. Indexing allows you to search the records using the name of the person you want to find. As of April 23 Ancestry.com had only two states indexed – Nevada and Delaware. Myheritage.com has one state indexed – Rhode Island. All of the other states must be searched by using the enumeration district (ED) listed on the census records.

The ED number was assigned to a specific area by the census department and it changes from census year to census year. However, knowing where the person lived in 1940 will allow you to find their 1940 ED number.  I recommend using the website stevemorse.org to find the needed ED number. This website has a utility (1920-1930-1940 finder/converter) that will convert the 1930 ED to the 1940 ED. Another utility on this website (Unified 1940 Census ED Finder ) will allow you to type in the street where your ancestors lived and the allow you to add across street to find the ED number.

If your do not know the exact 1940 address for your ancestors, you will need to find various records with an address listed that were generated about one year before or after 1940. Then browse the census records for the ED that includes this address. This is a method is an educated guess at where they lived and you may find more than one address to use in your search.

Good luck in your search and you should be rewarded with many new interesting facts about your family once you find the 1940 Census records.


One Response to Update – How to Find your Ancestors in the 1940 Federal Census

  1. Ray Elvey says:

    Just completed 2 very successful searches in the 1940 census for New York.

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