Tuesday, April 17, 2012

1940 US Census Community Project

The Greatest Generation Goes Online

  I was asked to speak to the Johnson County Genealogical Society last week about using their Facebook page and other social media to promote their endeavors.  Although it wasn't the first time I'd heard the news, it finally sunk in my brain while I was listening to their meeting announcements.  I must admit, I got pretty revved up when it was mentioned.

The 1940 US Census is now online

Yes, they reminded us that the 1940 US Census is now online!  I am so excited to share this information.  Before you tune out and decide this post isn't for you, allow me to confess something.  I feel your pain. This blogger was once the QUEEN of the "Genealogy is sooo boring!!"' crowd.  That was before I was bitten by the family history bug.  However, this post is NOT about me or my family history bug or blah blah blah (insert a bunch of dry and irrelevant data that no one feels any connection with whatsoever).  NO, NO WAY!!!

Did somebody mention Rock and Roll royalty?

This is about the Greatest Generation, and the King of Rock and Roll is part of that.  Yep, Elvis Presley was born in 1935, so chances are very good that he is on the 1940 Census.  That's not all, folks.  This is about Princess Grace and and the future heroes of World War II and Elvis Presley and Red Skelton.  It's about Judy Garland and Eisenhower and Jackie Gleason and Marilyn Monroe and Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. and Phyllis Diller.  It's about JFK and Gene Kelley and Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers and your Mom and Dad and their Moms and Dads and mine too.  It's about folks got together on Saturday nights and paid a nickel apiece for tickets to see movies featuring those real-life stars of cinema's Golden Age at their local theater.

Like I said before, I am SO excited.  Are you awake now?

Census Records Release Data State-by-State

From the Family Search Blog, this post lists the order of records released state by state.

Vintage 1940 US Census Poster

Hang in there, don't you dare fall asleep yet, you haven't heard the best part!

It's so big, even Bloomberg is buzzing


An enumerator interviews a woman for the 1940 Census. Photograph: National Archives at College Park/AP Photo

The best part of this entire post is NOT the snappy census taker in the photo or the Bloomberg report.  It isn't even the fact that all this stuff is available for free and you can literally touch history with your fingertips on your smartphone or your iPad or your laptop or desktop keyboard.  Nope, not even close.  However, it is pretty cool that you CAN now discover those cool stories with a simple touch.

The 1940 Census Community Project

The 1940 Census Community Project says it so much better than I can. Here is their description:

The “Greatest Generation”

The 1940 U.S. Federal Census is the largest, most comprehensive, and most recent record set available that records the names of those who were living in the United States at the time the census was taken.
132 million people were living in the 48 Continental United States in 1940.

Tens of millions of people living in the United States in 1940 are still living today, making this a record set that connects people with recent family records.
Many of these individuals are part of what has been called the greatest generation.
These are people who:
  • Survived the Great Depression
  • Fought in the Second World War
  • Innovated technology (TV, Microwave)
  • Sacrificed in the name of freedom
  • Practiced thrift and compassion
  • Understood hard work and industry
The people in the 1940 census deserve to have their records preserved and made available online.

That's right.  Not only did they sacrifice and fight and save the world from the Nazi terror and fascism, they gave us the TV and the Microwave.  Without the Greatest Generation, we would LITERALLY not be here.

So, all you escape artists that disappear when the dreaded word "Genealogy" is mentioned, thanks for hanging in there.  For your benefit, I have avoided all references to "third cousin twice removed" because this has NOTHING to do with ANY of that dry dribble.  Want to know what the best part of all this is? 

I saved the best for last


  •  This is real, not some faded old memory
  • This is happening now, today, to you.
  • This is something you can touch and feel and see.  It is alive.  
  • You can become a part of history and touch the Greatest Generation!   
  • Watch this short video and discover something incredible.

History is waiting.  Your date with destiny is here.  Join the national service project!
Click on the icon below to learn more:


  1. im not old enough to be in this census but my folks were.

  2. Thanks Reecea!! My parents are probably in it too and my grandparents and great grandparents .... isn t that cool!!!


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