The 1940 Census Release – 80 Days And Counting!

12 Jan

Are you into family history? Old family photos? Are you a real “Nancy Drew” sleuth when it comes to solving the mysteries that are hidden in your family closets?

Then you and I are both counting the days to the release of the 1940 U.S. Federal Census.

It is being made public on April 2, 2012.

The United States conducts a nation wide census every 10 years. Most of us just filled out the recent 2010 census – er, two years ago (how time flies!)

The very first U.S. Census was taken after the Revolutionary War in 1790, and it has been taken every 10 years since then. The results of the Census are used to determine such things as Congressional seats and electoral votes.

Genealogists LOVE accessing the census records to track down information on ancestors. Because of privacy laws, the census records are made public after 72 years.

So, for instance – that 2010 Census that you remember filling out? Its results will be made public on April 1, 2082.

This April, the 1940 Census is being made public. Of course, it will take some time for the records to be digitized and made available for public scrutiny at your local library, The National Archives, and such websites such as

What was going on in 1940?

My Dad was 9 years old, living in Miami and in Band – here he is, front row, 2nd from the right:

And my Mom started kindergarden in Chicago – she was 5 years old. Here she is, front row, 3rd from right:

Isn’t it strange, how the  mysteries of life would bring them together – and 19 years from then – welcome me into the world?

I can not WAIT to access the 1940 Census! Who knows what mysteries may be solved, what clues will be revealed?

Will you be sleuthing through the records, too?



P.S. – readers, please see the additional and CORRECT information about the availability of the 1940 Census from the National Archives – posted in the comments section. I’m happy to be told that if you know your ancestors’ locations, you can find them in the census results as soon as they are released – only the name index will take a while to be digitized by, etc…


6 Responses to “The 1940 Census Release – 80 Days And Counting!”

  1. margiesmom January 12, 2012 at 11:52 am #

    Ooohhhhh….I just might have to check that out!

    LOVE the pictures – you are SO cute!!

    • sallanscorner January 12, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

      Actually, I was a little red premature peanut! I think you’re the first person EVER to call me cute in that picture 🙂 Now – my Mom – SHE was cute!!!

  2. Hubby January 12, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

    I’ll leave the sleuthing to you, but those pictures of your mom and dad are great! I love those hats the band members are wearing.

    • sallanscorner January 12, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

      Thanks – I do love those pictures – both are from 1940, too!!

  3. Joel Weintraub January 12, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

    “Of course, it will take some time for the records to be digitized and made available for public scrutiny at your local library”

    That statement needs revision. The 1940 census has already been digitized by the National Archives and on April 2nd, 2012, it will be released to the public, online, and for free. is the partner with NARA to oversee the 1940 website.

    What won’t happen on April 2nd is to see a name index…. which may take 6 months or more to be fully completed by FamilySearch and In the meantime, you can find your family on opening day if you know their 1940 location. To start your research program, I suggest strongly you go through our Tutorial at which will tell you about all the current locational tools, all free, that you can use to find the right census district.
    Joel Weintraub
    Dana Point, CA

    • sallanscorner January 12, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

      Much thanks for your great information. I’m so happy to be wrong!!! I’ll revise the post to alert readers of my mistake. Yay for the National Archives! And, of course, I’ll be eagerly awaiting that name index…

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