My First 1940 US Census Find!

1940 US Census @ FamilySearch.org

Are you wondering how the indexing of the 1940 Census is going? Yes?! Then visit FamilySearch.org to get their status on image availability by state. The entire 1940 US census will be indexed by a community of volunteers and made FREE to the public at Family Search for perpetuity!

According to their website as of today (May 15, 2012), there are a total of twenty states fully indexed with six of them — Colorado, Delaware, Kansas, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Virginia — searchable and ready for genealogists to explore . . . woo-hoo! The minute I saw Kansas on the searchable list, I knew right away that my paternal great-grandparents, Birdie (Green)  — “My Fearless Female Ancestor Who Made the News — and Morgan Aldridge, who lived and died in Parsons, Labette County, Kansas would be my first 1940 Census find!

So I began my search for them by entering the state, county, and city where they lived in 1940:

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After clicking the search button, 19 Enumeration Districts containing “Parsons” in Labette, Kansas were retrieved.  According to the 1920 and 1930 US Census, my great-grandparents were enumerated in Parsons City Ward 3, so I immediately began scrolling down the list until I came to Enumeration District (E.D.) 50-28A & 50-28B for Parsons City Ward 3. Another clue that let me know that I had located the correct enumeration district was the fact that my step-grandfather worked for the Missouri-Kansas-Texas (M.K.& T)/Katy Railroad for many years and always lived near the rail yards he worked:

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BINGO! There they are in E.D. 50-28B, sheet 12 B, on lines 48 and 49:

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They were living at 2207 Morgan Ave, Parsons, KS 67357 in 1940. According to what my great-grandmother told to the enumerator, the highest grade level of school completed for Morgan was 4th, and the highest grade completed for her was 6th grade. Both of them were born in Texas, but they had been living in Parsons, KS as of April 1, 1935. Birdie was a homemaker while Morgan was employed for 52 weeks in 1939  as a Boiler Washer for the Railroad Roundhouse earning $1,350 that year!

So, if you have a Morgan & Birdie (Green) Aldridge in your Kansas/Texas family tree, let me hear from you because I’m . . . Claiming Kin!

 

Tuesday’s Tip: On Your Mark, Get Set, Ready … GO – 1940 Census here we come!

We are just a week away from the release of the 1940 Census and thanks to the National Archives, they have setup a direct link to the 1940 Census records at http://www.archives.gov/research/census/1940/ and a brief, yet informative video I’ve posted below, for anyone planning to access these records on April 2, 2012.

 

So why is the 1940 Census so special?

This census describes our country during the Great Depression, which began when Wall Street crashed, October 1929. According to Wikipedia.org, This crash “. . . marked the beginning of a decade of high unemployment, poverty, low profits, deflation, plunging farm incomes, and lost opportunities for economic growth and personal advancement.”

So what can you and I do right now to prepare for the grand opening of the 1940 Census?

We can begin by:

  1. Making a list of all the people (our ancestors, their parents, siblings, cousins, etc.) we want to look up in the 1940 Census.
  2. Collecting as many addresses as possible for these people by referring to:
    • City Directories
    • 1930 Census
    • World War II Draft Records
    • Naturalization Petitions
  3.  Identifying the Enumeration District (ED) where our ancestors lived.What are Enumeration Districts? These are geographical areas of a city or county that were assigned to a census taker.To locate the Enumeration Districts where our ancestors’ lived, go to the National Archives’ Online Public Access Search (OPA) at http://www.archives.gov/research/search/.
    To look up an Enumeration District, type –
    1940 census enumeration district description + the county + the state
    To look up an Enumeration District Map, type –
    1940 census maps + the county + the state. Another option for locating an Enumeration District is to visit Steve Morse’s website at http://stevemorse.org/census/ed2040.php?state=&year=1940 to access his free tool for converting a 1930 Census ED to a 1940 Census ED in one step.
  4. Accessing a blank copy of the 1940 Census forms below to become familiar with the various questions asked by census takers on that form:
    Blank 1940 Census Form
    Fillable 1940 Census Form

For more information and free resources for Genealogist at the National Archives, visit them online at http://www.archives.gov/research/genealogy/

Happy Researching!