Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The new phone book's here! The new phone book's here!

The 1940 Census was released to the public last week. Privacy laws require Census records be kept under wraps for 70 years. This is the second census release I've experienced since I started doing family history research on a regular basis.

For now the only thing available is the images, no index or search feature. If you know where someone lived at the time you can find them, but it may take looking at a lot of images. A fast Internet connection is a necessity.

I found my wife's father and his parents in Smith County Tennessee which was amazing since I had no idea where they lived in the County. They were on the first couple pages I looked at. I'm not sure where my father was during the census since he was in the U.S. Army Air Corps. I've looked in several areas of the Panama Canal Zone, where I think he was stationed but haven't found him yet.

My mother and her parents, Walton "Tink" and Edith Fulford were easy to find since they lived in Cortez, Florida which then and now was a small town. It shows they owned their home as did most of their neighbors. My grandmother gave the information and said she had finished the 7th grade and her husband the 4th. My mother was in her first year of high school. I recognize almost all of the names on the census page since most are relatives. I'm sure there are surprises to be found on the census pages. If you want to find your family, the 1940 Census is available for free on Ancestry.com

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