1940 Census United States - Finding Your Ancestor in a Big City

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United States go to U.S. Census go to 1940 Census go to Finding Your Ancestor in a Big City

Until the 1940 Census is indexed, finding an ancestor in a larger city requires you to determine which Enumeration District they were living in and then do a page-by-page search of that enumeration district to find their actual record. When working in bigger cities, you may find that your ancestor could have lived in several different Enumeration Districts. If this is the case, you may need to search each Enumeration District separately.

1. Begin first by finding your ancestor's street address.

For hints on how to find an address see the wiki pages1940 Census United States - Using a City Directory or .

2. Find the Cross Streets for your ancestor’s address.

Search for your ancestor’s street address using a map website (such as Google Maps Mapquest or Bing). Locate the closest major cross streets to your neighbor's address.

3. Determine the Enumeration District.

UseSteveMorse.org to determine the Enumeration District (E.D.) Use the drop down lists at the side to choose the state and city your ancestor resided in. Use the cross streets you discovered in step 2 to determine the E.D. (The E.D. should consist of two numbers separated by a dash.) More than one E.D. may apply to your ancestor's address.

4. Narrow the Enumeration District search.

To further narrow the E.D. search, click on the enumeration district numbers displayed to see a list of streets within that enumeration district. View orginial 1940 E.D. maps at SteveMorse.org (images hosted by the National Archives). Using cross streets, discover which E.D. map most likely shows your ancestor's address.  Even after using E.D. maps, you may need to search more than one E.D. in the census to locate your ancestor.

5. Write down the 1940 Enumeration District (s).

3. Use FamilySearch.org to browse the images.

Go to www.familysearch.org. Navigate to the 1940 Census. Fill the state, county, city and enumeration district into the available fields. Navigate to the set of images. Scan through the names on each page for your ancestor and his or her family. Use the arrows in the top right corner to move to the next image in the Enumeration District.