Monday, April 02, 2012

1940 Census Cheers and Jeers

Frustrated by little or no access to the official NARA website images for the 1940 Federal Census? The best advice from Amy Johnson Crow, an official from the company that built the website is:

Download rather than view an census image page online. 

WHERE do you click to download? In the screen shot below, while you are watching those "swirling circles" click and select "download" from the popup menu.

At about 4:15pm Eastern US time, I tried accessing the site, and only got a blank screen. When I tweeted about it, I received this reply from NARA:

 @archivesnews: They're pushing out some updates to improve performance. Thanks for sticking with us! #1940census

OK,Ol' Myrt here decide to look at the ED 40-115 (enumeration district) maps for Seattle, King County, Washington.  I followed the steps above, by received this all-to-familiar screen:

FamilySearch had similar problems when they went live, and they didn't have the benefit of's super-fast cloud servers. But then according to NARA reports 22.5 million hits in the first four hours today.

I've heard that and are loading states bit by bit, that provides the faster access service of the two.

Follow Ancestry's loading progress here:

Follow FamilySearch's loading progress here:

In a phone call just now with Jim Ericson of FamilySearch, these initial five states should be in the FamilySearch Indexing queue TONIGHT: Colorado, Delaware, Kansas, Oregon and Virginia.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
Your friend in genealogy.