The United States was a young nation on April 1, 1940 with some 132 million residents in 33 million households with 7 million of those being farms scattered across the country. That was the date of the official U. S. Census count when over 120,000 enumerators (census takers) crisscrossed the nation to count the population. Those census records have not been released yet to the public. The official release date will be April 2, 2012, some 72 years after the census was taken.
The last U. S. Federal Census released was for 1930 and was made available to the public in April 2002. By law, the census schedules and information cannot be issued to the public for 72 years to protect the privacy of the American citizens who furnished the information back in 1940.
Some of the information to be found on the 1940 Census would include the names of all individuals living in the household as of April 1, 1940 along with their relationship to the head of the house. Additional personal information will have the age, sex, martial status and race. The furthest each person achieved in education and their place of birth will be listed.
For those over the age of 14 a listing of their employment, including if they worked in the home will be provided. There are several questions relating to employment, giving real insight to the hours worked, wages paid and where a person was employed.
Supplementary questions for about five percent of the population provided many details such as birthplace of parents, languages spoken, veteran status and having a social security number. For women the number of times they were married, age at their first marriage and all the children they gave birth to are on the census.
When the 1940 census is released in 2012 it will be not be indexed yet. The first researchers will need to look up ancestors by knowing which town, county and state they lived in 1940. Also, the exact enumeration district would need to be known or pages and pages will have to be reviewed.
Many companies will be scanning the originals or microfilm copies of each census page to make it digitized. Then, to index the transcription process begins with the typing out of all names and the information on each person.
It will be fascinating for family historians to look back on this 1940 census which will have their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and possibly themselves listed. Some 72 years ago, America was quite different with the U. S. postage stamp only 3 cents, Winston Churchill was Prime Minister of England and Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected to a third term. All researchers are looking forward to discovering new insights about their ancestors.< Return To Blog Need more information about the census 1030-1940 in regards to my Mother's family tree the NMN Thornton family in Winston Salem NC