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Census

US Census 1940

Two months since I posted, but I’ve been busy. I let a couple of weeks go by after the release of the 1940 US Census, to let the crowds disperse a bit! I have a family branch in Utah, so I’ve been looking up some of those I know about on the census.

There’s no index yet, so you can’t look up an individual by name – but I know volunteers are working on that huge task and at some point an index will be issued. (If you’d like to help, check this page.)

If you know which state, county and town your family members lived in, you can browse through the images to find them.

Step one is to find the right Enumeration District – the site I’ve found easiest to use for this is the Unified 1940 Census ED Finder by Steve Morse. Once you’ve entered the information, the site will list the relevant EDs, and you can browse them in various image browsers. I’ve been using NARA, but mainly because it’s the first button on the page! So give the others a try if you want to find what suits you best.

I’ve been looking at the families descended from Samuel Carter – Binks, Roylance, Parry, and Carter. I’ve already found photos of some of them, and their graves, on Findagrave – always interesting. Choose the “Search 79 million graves” link on the right of the home page.

I find the most interesting census information to be the jobs – many of this branch were farmers, one a fireman on the railway, and one a fieldworker for Del Monte. I was surprised at how many owned their own homes. Value of the homes ranged from $1400 to $2000 – buying power of about $22,000 to $32,000 today. You certainly couldn’t buy a house for that today, going by the ads I’ve seen for property for sale.

We can’t view UK census returns for anything so recent – 1911 is the latest. So it’s been interesting to view those from the US 1940 census.

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