US Census

This Is Why You Don't Skip Censuses

It's tempting to skip something like the 1870 census because it doesn't list relationships. It's also tempting to think, "Oh, I know what's going to be in that record, so why bother looking for it?" The thing about genealogy is that you never know what's going to be in any given record. Read More »

Finding College Football Legends

Football season is in full gear! Already this season, we've seen stunning plays, incredible upsets, and some oh-so-close near-misses! There's only one thing that could make college football better - genealogy! Read More »

So Much to Learn About the Census

The federal census is a cornerstone of research in the United States. It's easy to use and contains a wealth of information about our ancestors. Sometimes there can be so much information that we miss some of it. Here are some resources for you to learn more about the census. Read More »

Not Your Typical Day Job

With Labor Day almost upon us, it's time to think about work (and not just getting a day off from it). I come from a long line of farmers. If you list my ancestors' occupations in the census, you'd have farmer, farmer, farmer, and... farmer. Read More »

The Flying Wallendas in the 1940 Census

If you watched Nik Wallenda's recent high-wire walk 1,500 feet above a Grand Canyon-area gorge, you probably heard references to his great-grandfather Karl Wallenda. Take a peek at the Wallenda family in the 1940 census. Read More »

Why Bother With All of the Censuses?

Our recent list of resolutions for genealogists included one to find all of the censuses. With so many ancestors and so little time, why should you take the time to find someone in every census in which that person was living? Here are three reasons. Read More »

Fun with Presidents in the 1940 Census

Choosing a president is serious business, but finding them in the census is fun! Just like everyone else in the United States, presidents - present, past, and future - have their information recorded in the census. As we wrap up Election 2012, let's take a look at few presidents and see what the 1940 census has to say about them. You might be surprised! Read More »

The American Family Through Time

October is Family History Month! To celebrate, we here at Archives put together "The American Family Through Time," an interactive guide showing how family life has changed from 1790 to 2010. With this guide based on information in the Federal census, you'll learn about family size, education, occupations, and lots of fun facts about the census. Read More »

Every State in the 1940 Census Now Available!

Today is a monumental day. We've just posted the remaining states in the 1940 U.S. census! That's right -- now you can search all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Panama Canal Zone, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. We couldn't be more excited! You can search the census for free at

The 1940 U.S. census launched in April to unprecedented excitement. Millions of people had to search through the images page-by-page looking for their ancestors because there was no index. That's where the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project came in. Read More »

We're Nearing 1940 Census Completion!

We're getting close, really close, to completing the 1940 census name index. We can never give enough praise to the wonderful volunteers who are making this possible!

Today, we've launched nine more states: Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin. This adds another 9.6 million records to the index and brings the total number of states and territories available to 46.

If you haven't already, the time to begin your 1940 census search is now! The 1940 census is available for free at Read More »

We're In a New York State of Mind

We are in a New York State of mind at Archives! We just published two major collections for the Empire State: the 1940 U.S. Census and the New York State Death Index.

The 1940 census index for New York features more than 13.5 million records! One of them is the Yankee Clipper himself, Joe DiMaggio. In 1940 he was living in Manhattan with Dorothy, his first wife. Not surprisingly, his occupation was "ball player." The 1940 census is available for free at (Full access also available to in the member area) Read More »

Get Ready, Get Set, Olympians in the 1940 Census

The 2012 Summer Olympics are about to get underway. The pentathlon and decathlon combine multiple sports into one event. Create your own event by combining family history with the Olympics! Take a look at these famous Olympians in the 1940 census.

Enjoy the graphic below, and don't forget to 'Like' it on Facebook, tweet it, or share it on your own site! Read More »

Finding the Right Mr. Smith in the Census

Common names might make you cringe when you're researching your family history. It can be hard to find your ancestor when he or she has a common last name like Smith, Johnson, or Miller. It's even more challenging if that person also has a common first name. Fortunately, there are ways you can find your ancestor in the census, even when hundreds of other people have the same name. Here we'll explain a couple:

Narrow by County
One of the easiest ways to narrow your census search is to add the county where you think the person was living. There are 218 William Millers in Kansas in the 1940 census. If you think your William Miller was living in Osage County, add Osage to your search. The four who were living in Osage County will go to the top of the results list.

Use Birth Information
There are 1,434 John Johnsons in California in the 1940 census. You can narrow those results by adding a year of birth and/or a place of birth. Let's say your John Johnson was born in Ohio around 1908. Read More »

California in the 1940 Census!

California's state motto - "Eureka!" - is fitting for the newly released index to the 1940 census! Finding ancestors in the Golden State is now easier, thanks to thousands of volunteers in the Community Project who have indexed the 6.9 million people who called California "home" in 1940. Let's take a look at life in California then and now. And since a trip to California isn't complete without looking for a movie star or two, take a look at some we've found. Read More »

Uncover More Family in the 1940 Census!

Are you looking for people in the 1940 census in Alabama, Indiana, Maine, Oklahoma, North Dakota, or South Dakota? Your search just got easier! Those six states were recently added to the free 1940 census index available at This brings the total to 24 available states!

One fact you might not know is the 1940 census was the first to ask additional questions to a sampling of the population. Two people on each page were asked "supplemental questions," which appear at the bottom of the page. One person who was asked more questions was Myrle Hardy of Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana. Read More »

Four More States Added to 1940 Index

Attention Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Montana family historians! The 1940 census index for those four states is now available at Eighteen states total are now free to search by name.

Stories abound in the 1940 census. George Self was living in Honolulu County in 1940. The 40-year-old Oklahoman was listed with the occupation "Rigger Helper: Navy Yard." You can't help but wonder if he was there Sunday morning December 7, 1941 during the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. It's his story, and others, we're excited to help you uncover. Read More »

Several New 1940 Census Indexes Added!

Still looking for family in the 1940 census? Us too! That's why we're pleased to bring online 1940 census records from Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, and Vermont. It's free to search these records by name or view images at

Other states that are already available to search by name are Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Kansas, New Hampshire, Oregon, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming. More records are being added each week, so make sure to stay up-to-date! is a proud sponsor of the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project, a volunteer effort to make a free, searchable name index for the 1940 census. You can learn more about the project or volunteer at Read More »

New 1940 Census Indexes Added and Stories to Be Discovered

We are happy to announce that the 1940 census name indexes for three more states - Florida, Utah, and Wyoming - are now available for free at (Archives members can also search these records in the Member area.) These states join Colorado, Delaware, Kansas, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Virginia as part of the quickly-growing 1940 census index.

These new indexes make it easier to find your family in the 1940 census - and to find the stories that are told there.

One of the countless stories in the 1940 census is that of the Hixon family in Albany County, Wyoming. Their entry chronicles their migrations through three states and shows the continued effects of the Great Depression. Read More »

Understanding the 1940 Census

It's been one month since the release of the 1940 census. Whether you've found family members on the National Archives website at or found them here on using the growing number of indexes we have available, you might wonder what some things in the census mean.

Here we'd like to answer some common questions to help you more easily find your family, and better understand these records.

The "X" In a Circle or In Parentheses:
The circled X or an X in parentheses shows who gave the enumerator the information for the household. This can help you judge the accuracy of the answers. Read More »

New! Search Colorado 1940 Census Records By Name

Today, has made the entire 1940 census name index for Colorado available to search for free at There you can search all 1940 census records from Colorado, and view the images, at no cost.

This is the second state to be made available on from the 1940 census, and more will be added continually!

Kudos to the tremendous effort of the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project volunteers who are helping to bring these records online in record time. If you're not involved already, this important national service project needs you! Read More » Adds First State to its Search-By-Name Index of the 1940 U.S. Census

Last week, and the U.S. National Archives made the entire U.S. 1940 census available digitally at While census images are hugely valuable, the lack of a name index can impede speedy searching. To help remedy this, and other like-minded family history organizations have sponsored the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project, a national service effort that will index 3.8 million census images by name. is proud to... Read More »

American Icons in the 1940 Census

After 72 long years, the 1940 census was released on April 2, 2012. Take a peek at the records of some famous American icons who are included in the 1940 census. Read More »

Behind the Scenes: the 1940 U.S. Census Release

The 1940 U.S. census launch has been enormous. Whether it's the scale of the census data or the huge amount of traffic to the census site (, everything about the past few days has been big! thinks a closer look into this enormous undertaking is in order. Check it out! Read More » Offices, April 2, 9am EDT

The April 2nd release of the 1940 U.S. Census proved one thing: America hasn't gone this gaga over something since, well, Lady Gaga. While engineers have been tirelessly working to accommodate the massive rush of traffic to the site, the Design team has been feeling a little left out. Here's their oh-so-helpful contribution. Oh, artists! Read More »

1940 Census Update � Simple Image Viewing And Fast Download

Our engineers have been working tirelessly throughout the night to improve the reliability of the 1940 census website and we've made some great progress.

Some highlights include... Read More »

1940 Census Update: We Expected A Flood And Got A Tsunami!

First, we want to apologize to the millions of people who came to the 1940 census website this morning in search of information about their family history. While many users have been able to find and download records, many others have experienced problems when searching for enumeration districts and viewing census images.

As the National Archives and Records Administration's (NARA) official development partner on this project, is responsible for the website performance and stability. We take full responsibility for the technical issues that have occurred and are very sorry for the inconvenience you may have experienced. Read More » Joins with the National Archives to Release the 1940 Census

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., April 2, 2012 -, an innovative family history website that makes family history research simple and affordable, has joined in partnership with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to provide the public with free digital access to the 1940 Federal Population Census on April 2, 2012.

The entire 1940 census is available online today exclusively at, the official U.S. government website for the 1940 census. built the tools that allow researchers and amateur historians alike to browse, view, and download images from the 1940 census, the most important collection of newly released U.S. genealogy records in a decade. has bolstered users' census research experience by integrating a robust set of finding-tools and resources.

Read More »

Find Your Family in the 1940 Census [INFOGRAPHIC]

The 1940 Census is almost here! Are you ready? has prepared this infographic to show some of the cool things you can discover about your family in the 1940 Census. It also shows the steps you'll take to find them when the Census is released on April 2. is proud to have been selected by the National Archives to host the 1940 Census. Starting April 2, go to and find your family.

So, who is that with great-grandpa?! Read More »

1940 Census: Who We�re Searching for and Why

The genealogical world is all atwitter at the prospect of the release of the 1940 U.S. Federal Census, which will materialize fully digitized at at 9:00 a.m. Eastern on April 2nd. The website, created for the National Archives and Records Administration by, will give everyone free access to this tremendous record trove that captures the pivotal moment the Greatest Generation was exiting the Great Depression only to be pulled into the demands and sacrifices of World War II.

This remarkable record set will undoubtedly be pored over and analyzed by historians, economists, sociologists and countless others, but I was curious about the personal reasons that so many of us are counting down the minutes Read More »

Let Sponsor Your 1940 Kickoff Event

The release of the 1940 Census is one of the most anticipated genealogical events ever. How can you have an event like this without a kickoff party? And what's a party without gifts?!

If you or your library, archives, or society is hosting a 1940 census kickoff event, will provide up to 3 free memberships, which can be used as door prizes or raffle items. To receive these, simply email with the name of your organization and details about your event. is proud to be partnering with the National Archives and Records Administration to bring you the 1940 Census at beginning April 2. Read More »

The 1940 Census, Indexing, and You

April 2, 2012 will be a red-letter day for family history enthusiasts. On that day, the 1940 U.S. Census will be released to the public. is proud to have been chosen by the National Archives to build the website will allow visitors to browse, view, and download images of this valuable resource - for free.

When the 1940 Census becomes available, users will immediately be able to browse by location, but they will not be able to search by name. That's where the power of the community - the power of you - comes in. Read More » and National Archives Announce 1940 Census Website

Today and the National Archives are revealing the website that will host the 1940 Census beginning April 2, 2012: We encourage you to bookmark the website, and watch the video providing a behind-the-scenes look at the preparations made to publish the 1940 Census.

Please share this website and video with others!

There are only 40 days until April 2nd, a day eagerly anticipated by genealogists, historians, and academics alike. and the National Archives are working diligently to bring you a website that makes it easy to explore the 1940 Census images. This will be the only website hosting all of the 1940 Census images on April 2nd. Read More »

Learning From Census Mortality Schedules

You can learn a lot more from the census than names and addresses. We've highlighted some interesting occupations, and now we'd like to spotlight another way the census can help you learn more about your ancestors.

Censuses taken between 1850 and 1885 included "mortality schedules" to count the members of a town who died between June 1st of the year preceding the census and June 1st of the census year. These mortality schedules list the standard details--name, age, place of birth, occupation, et cetera--along with time and cause of death for each person. Read More »

Historic Moment in Social Work Preserved by the Census

You can learn a lot more from a census record than just someone's name. Since we added the 1790 to 1930 US Census records to recently, we have been enjoying exploring these new collections. It's really interesting to see how even simple records can be a finger to the pulse of a social movement.

For instance, in the 1900 Census, we found Hull House. Founded in 1889 by Jane Addams and Ellen Starr, Hull House was an early fixture in the settlement house movement. The settlement house movement sought to change social work by having social workers live within the community they served. Read More »

U.S. Presidents in the Census

In every US Federal Population Census, one individual is guaranteed to have the following unique entry in the field, Occupation, Trade, or Profession: President of the United States. After we added the 1790 to 1930 US Census records to last week, we looked through the collections for Commanders in Chief, sure to be counted just like the rest of us. In the case of Zachary Taylor, this singular vocation was abbreviated "Prest U.S."

Maybe the enumerator wouldn't have been in such a rush if "Old Rough and Ready" had still been president on August 31, 1850, when he was counted in the census for the last time. Read More »

Celebrity Census Discoveries: Ralph Waldo Emerson

Since we added the 1790 to 1930 US Census records to, we have been having fun looking up our favorite celebrities from that time period. We found Transcendentalist philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson. And, as often happens with this kind of research, what we found piqued our interest and inspired us to learn more.

Emerson first appears identifiably in the census in 1850 when he was 47. The censuses taken prior to 1850 only listed the heads of houses, so individuals who didn't own land or were living with friends do not have entries. Born in 1803, Emerson was only a child by the 1810 Census. Read More »

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