05 August 2012

1940 U.S. census indexed and free to access

On Friday, August 3, two big announcements hit within hours. Ancestry.com and the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project had finished indexing the 1940 U.S. census. 

Putting This Monumental Task in Perspective

On April 2, the National Archives and Record Administration (NARA) first released the digital images at 9 a.m., and within hours the official 1940 census site was overloaded by eager genealogists. Taking some of the pressure off NARA's site, Ancestry.com uploaded the first of the 3.8 million images online, with other companies soon to follow.

Ancestry.com also completed the 134 million everyname indexing project first too, by outsourcing the project to China, Bangladesh, and the Philippines. The Ancestry.com 1940 census images and indexes are free to use, though you need to log on or create an account to view them.

The 1940 U.S. Census Community Project worked together to create an everyname index for NARA, Archives.com, FindMyPast.com, ProQuest, and FamilySearch.org. Using the FamilySearch Indexing model, this project involved more than 160,000 volunteers from around the world. The last batch was submitted on Friday, but it will take a few more weeks for the quality auditing process to be completed. Much of the 1940 census is indexed and available on FamilySearch now—except for few states. Keep checking the sites for new additions. 

Keep the Momentum Going!

The 1940 community project inspired many genealogists to work together on a common goal. But the work is not done. The next big project is indexing the U.S. immigration and naturalization records. Currently, the Boston passenger lists 1820-1891 are only seven percent indexed. We need your help! Volunteer.

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