In just over two weeks, the 1940 census will be released. This is a really big deal in the genealogical community, if you didn’t know! The census will contain a wealth of information to help you with your family history research. You will be able to access the census free on the website starting April 2. Not only will you be able to view the records for free (unlike previous census images), but you can download your research right from the site.
An index for the 1940 census does not yet exist since the images won’t be released until April 2, but FamilySearch and Ancestry.com are providing a way for volunteers to index the census so that it can be searchable and available to the public. The indexing project will greatly improve your ability to research the wealth of information included in the census, so to expedite the indexing process, you can join the volunteer effort! Visit the FamilySearch website to learn more and to sign up as a volunteer. You can also sign up on the 1940 Census website.
Besides the obvious excitement of gaining access to new family history research, the hubbub surrounding the release of the 1940 census is the fact that people today actually know people who are on it. Babies born in 1940 are only in their early 70s now, and their parents could still be alive as well. When you study the census, you’ll be able to make important family connections as well as find occupations, immigration data, and locations for your own relatives.
Use FamilyHistorynotebook to save and store the information you glean from the census. Keep the information organized into your various family notebooks, and cross-reference overlapping information using category tags.
For more information on the 1940 Census:
- Archives.gov: The official website of the National Archives, where you can learn more about the census itself, the questions asked on it, etc.
- 1940 Census Community Project: sign up to volunteer, learn about the 1940s, and read blog posts by census ambassadors.
- DearMYRTLE: just one of the many sources for webinars, advice, and tips and tricks for researching the census.
Image via the1940census.com.
A great way to keep the fire of your family history enthusiasm burning is to create a family history blog. Blogs are a great way to collaborate research not only between friends and family, as you can do with email, but with genealogists and family history enthusiasts around the world. It’s easy to set up a blog for free, and you can post entries as often or infrequently as you like.
What is a Family History Blog?
This year’s RootsTech conference is coming up at the end of next week. If you are lucky enough to be traveling to Salt Lake City for it, you are sure to be inundated with cutting edge information about genealogy and technology.
Technology and genealogy come together to teach and learn from each other at this conference. From February 2 to the 4, attendees will have a chance to learn about the newest family history resources from genealogists and technologists alike. Valuable research tools are being made and developed and will be further developed at this conference. We'll have a booth there; look for the BillionGraves table to learn more about our cemetery database project.
Prominent family history bloggers have been invited to participate and blog about the experience. You can find a list of the bloggers on the RootsTech site. Family History Blogs are great resources for connecting and sharing with other enthusiasts.
Last year, over 4,000 people participated in the conference online via webinars. Even if you can’t physically attend the conference, make an effort to participate in these video sessions. Diane Haddad at Genealogy Insider has compiled a list from the RootsTech site of the sessions you can watch live streaming from the site. RootsTech has not released instructions for participating in these sessions just yet, but watch the site for more information.