Thursday, April 19, 2012

Lost in the 1940 Census

 Since the release of the 1940 Census on April 2 I have been busy! Busy looking for my people and busy indexing other people's people!
 As the release time approached I was logged in and ready to start my search.  I tweeted my excitement, clicked on my first ED page to search and waited for it to load......all day I waited for it to load!!!
 It turns out that there were many others, who like me, wanted to see who and what they could find out about their people.  Frustrating yet wonderful at the same time. Who would have thought that so many people were so interested in the 1940 census?
 So what did I do in the meantime? I listened to Genealogy Webinars from Dear Myrtle, Legacy Family Tree and Thomas MacEntee on searching the 1940 Census. I got wonderful ideas and tips on how to find all those who I would be looking for.  And in upcoming blog posts I will show who and what I have found so far and how I found them.
 By far the most important thing I did and have been doing since the release is indexing. Why would I feel that this was even more important than finding my ancestors? Because an index of the names of each person from each household in every state will make finding our people so much easier. As soon as it is completed anyone will be able to type in a name on a search engine and there they will be. Sure beats hunting through pages and pages of an Enumeration Districts hoping that you will stumble across a familiar address and family!
  Another reason that I want to help in the indexing program is to preform a service for others. I am grateful for those who have indexed other records that I have needed. When I log onto a Genealogy site and fill in the search box for any number of record types I am so glad that someone somewhere took the time to index my people's name and information so that I could come along and find them.
 Indexing is easy and fun to do. You don't have to be an expert or know a lot about genealogy. You just have to be able to read and type in what you have read! You can also choose which states you would like to index. I have heard of stories where people have downloaded a batch from their state and found that the page they received actually had their family members on it! Wow! Now that would be something!

 Watch this short video to see how easy it really is!

Interested in helping out? Then sign up and get started! Just go to:  to sign up and then download the software at: 

  As I said I will be posting about my experiences as I have searched and found my people throughout the NC/SC 1940 Census Records. At times it has felt like I was being directed as to where to find them. I shouted for joy as I saw familiar names living in places where I had visited or in places I never knew they had been.  I cried with the knowledge of what was coming in their lives-marriage, children, war and death.  It has been an exciting journey so far. I am not finished yet as I have one person who is still somewhere in, I believe, the Columbia, Richland,South Carolina area. Hopefully I will be able to find her in the next few days. If not then I will be forever thankful to the indexer who will volunteer their time and energy to help me find my Great Great Grandmother Bessie Ergle Price. 
 I would love to hear from you about your indexing and searching the 1940 Census. Please leave a comment about who and what you have found!
   Happy Indexing and Searching!!


  1. Cheri, how old was Bessie in 1940? For instance, there's a Bessie Price, age 51, with a husband W.P. Price, age 57, on Bluff Road in Olympia Mill Village in Richland County. They are on sheet 3B of Enumeration District 40-57.

  2. I actually found that Bessie in my search. My Bessie would have been about 56 and widowed. The last known address I have for her was 5801 Wilson Blvd. in Columbia,SC. I have tried to Google Map it and see if I can find cross roads but there is a freeway there now. Because of the Mill work that her husband and sons did they moved frequently. They were not living in the same place in 1930 so that ED doesn't help. I plan to do a more in depth search of the area this weekend. Wish me luck!
    Thanks so much for letting me know about the Bessie you found. I have run across this family before in searches. Is it part of your family?


  3. No, she's not part of my family (that I know of), although I do have a lot of close and distant relatives in the Newberry and Lexington areas.