1940 Census United States - What is Next?

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United States go to U.S. Census go to 1940 Census go to What Do I Do Next?

I found my family in the 1940 Census: What do I do next?


Make A Copy[edit | edit source]

Make a print or digital copy of the record. Highlight your ancestor and family of interest. Be sure to write the source and citation on the paper or digital document. File the record.

Document the Record[edit | edit source]

Personal Database[edit | edit source]

Document the record in your personal database.

If you are using Personal Ancestral File (PAF) or a commercial program enter the 1940 census as a source. Attach that source to an individual or to a family. The source tells where you accessed the census record including the URL or microfilm. List the citation of that source which would include the locality, enumeration district, page or sheet number, the address, dwelling and family number. A source and citation provide a research trail which someone else could follow back to the same record which you found.

Add the details of your ancestor’s response to the enumerator’s questions. Record all information. Often that which seems unimportant on a first look, may prove to be of great worth later in your research.

Community Tree[edit | edit source]

Document the record in the community Family Tree

1. Go to the FamilySearch website.
2. Click on Sign In (upper right corner of page)
3. Log in with your FamilySearch username and password
Select Create New Account if you need to register. There is no cost to access FamilySearch.org.
4. Click on Family Tree (top of page, left of the FamilySearch logo)
5. Select an ancestor who was living in 1940 from the pedigree display
(click and drag to left to view more of the tree, click on right arrow to extend tree)
6. Click on name of ancestor to view ancestor card
7. Choose View Ancestor (bottom bar of ancestor card) for full view on the ancestor page
8. Locate Sources and select Add a New Source
9. In the Source Box click on Create to add the 1940 Census as a new source
10. Enter the following information (note shadowed examples):
a. Source Title (Required)
b. Web Page (Link to the Record)
c. Where the Record Is Found (Citation)
d. Describe the Record (Notes)
11. Use the notes field to enter all details gleaned from the 1940 census in relation to your ancestor and their family. Be descriptive in the manner that if someone else interested in your ancestor could not view the census image, the notes would still provide a clear and exact picture of the record.
12. Click Save

Next Research Steps[edit | edit source]

What Have I Learned From the 1940 Census?[edit | edit source]

1. First, determine what you already have and what you know. Add to it what you learned from the 1940 census. Ask: Who is in the household? What are their ages? Occupations? What locations are identified? Are the people rural or urban?

What New Questions Do I Have About My Ancestor?[edit | edit source]

2. Decide what you want to learn, and what records might help you find that information. Forming your questions is very important.

What New Records Can I Search?[edit | edit source]

3. Though many recent records are restricted by rights of privacy, others may not be. Much depends on the locality you are researching. Some records to consider are:
a. Find your people in earlier censuses and earlier Newspapers – especially social columns in small town papers. Some may be online, others could be in local libraries.
b. Land records – some states actually have recent land record indexes online.

Are There Wiki Articles to Help Me Learn About New Records to Search?[edit | edit source]

4. Check the FamilySearch wiki at wiki.familysearch.org under the topic of interest on the state, county, or town level to get a general idea what might be available online or on microfilm.