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Find Your Family - Community and the 1940 Census

Article Date: 
30 October, 2011 (All day)


As April approaches preparation work for the 1940 census continues. announced that they will be providing a full index to the 1940 census once it is released.  They intend to provide the index free for the first year.

FamilySearch has been quietly organizing a community effort around the 1940 census.  At the Federal of Genealogical Societies conference FamilySearch reached out to many genealogical societies and other partners to contribute to the work.  They are intending to produce a full index of the census through community work and plan to have the entire census, images and index free on their site as well as key partner sites.

One of the things I love about the genealogical community is the feeling of service.  There are so many in the community that take time to help others.  The indexing program at FamilySearch is a prime example of this.  More than 130,000 volunteers participate in indexing projects each year.  This year the group will produce more than five hundred million indexed names.  All of these records are made available for free on FamilySearch.

The 1940 census will be the largest community project ever attempted.  More than 130 million individuals are listed in the census.  Volunteers will give of their time to help others for decades to come to connect with and understand their ancestors.

The 1940 census will provide opportunities for communities to come together and provide service.  Local genealogical societies and centers will be able to band together to provide service.  It will provide youth groups, scouting groups, and other service organizations the opportunity to provide a community asset of lasting value.

The censuses are the most significant records set for United States genealogical research.  Each time a census releases there is an upsurge in genealogical activity.

I encourage everyone who has an interest in family history to sign up for FamilySearch indexing and become a part of this great community event.  I also encourage all of us to reach out and spread the work.  Indexing will begin the middle of April, but signing up now will ensure that you are in the communication loop as announcements are made.  It will also allow you to become familiar with the indexing software in advance of the release.

I am so excited about the potential for the 1940 census to energize service and to energize participation in family history work.  I am also interested to find my family in the census.  To register for indexing just visit .  The registration is simple and the software is easy to use.  If you have questions the family history center in Morgan can help you.  Enjoy your time indexing!