Saturday, March 31, 2012

1940 Census: Prepare to index NOW!

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: From our friends at the 1940 US Census Community Project we learn of the first five states that will be added to the indexing queue. PLEASE do your part, pay it forward and sign up to index. We'll be discussing indexing challenges during our webinars next week.

Get Ready, Get Set . . .

Thank you for your interest in the 1940 US Federal Census. This will be the last email you receive on behalf of the 1940 US Census Community Project before the images start to become available online.

What You Can Expect on April 2

The 1940 US Census Community Project is creating an index to the 1940 US Federal Census that will be made available for free. This is a joint effort between Archives, FindMyPast, FamilySearch, hundreds of societies, and tens of thousands of individual volunteers. The resulting index will be made available on the websites of the primary sponsors.

On the morning of Monday, April 2, NARA will release the digital images of the 1940 census to multiple parties, including the 1940 US Census Community Project. We will immediately start uploading these 3.6 million images to servers, where they will become available online over time. The ability for people to start accessing some of these images through the community project will take hours, not minutes.
As the first five states are loaded to servers, corresponding projects will be set up to index those images as state projects. We anticipate the first five states will be available for volunteer indexing by 10pm EDT.

The first five states to be loaded and ready for indexing on April 2 are the following:
·  Delaware
·  Virginia
·  Kansas
·  Oregon
·  Colorado

The process of uploading images and setting up indexing projects by state will continue until all of the states and territories for this project are published, which may take up to two weeks to complete. Every day more images will be made available for browsing and indexing, so you will want to check back often to see which states are available.

The indexing process will be taking place through FamilySearch indexing. If you are already a FamilySearch indexing volunteer, these 1940 census projects will appear as new projects in the indexing software. No new software download or registration process is necessary to participate. If you are not currently a volunteer but want to participate in this historic opportunity, get started by downloading the indexing software and registering today.

What You Can Do Now
1.      Download and install the indexing software
Watch an Overview | Get Started
2.      Learn how to index the 1940 US Census
Watch a Video | Try the 1940 Census indexing simulation
3.      Let others know about the 1940 US Census Community Project
Like the Facebook page | Follow @The1940Census on Twitter | Follow the page on Google+ | Tell friends about

You can keep up with the latest updates by visiting often over the next few weeks. Thank You!

The 1940 US Census Community Project Team

1940 Census: Cram Course Step 3

Still busy preparing for Monday's release the 1940 Census on April 2, 2012? It will be available for online searching free of charge at Be sure to join the webinar sessions next week to SHARE what you discover once the images go live. If you are still cramming to prepare... 

Identify the enumeration district (ED) in which each address was located
. There are currently several ways to do this:

Search the 1940 Census Maps for Enumeration District Numbers

  • Go to the Online Public Access search (OPA):
  • Enter 1940 Census maps + the county + the state: 1940 Census maps Sussex Delaware [for example]. You can narrow the search by including a town name in the search: 1940 Census maps Sussex Milford Delaware
  • Note: Not all towns will have individual maps. You may need to look at county maps for some towns.
  • The search will bring back any matching results. The first three results will be listed, to see additional results click "View all Online Holdings."
  • Click the particular result you wish to see to view the larger version of the map.
  • You may use the zoom and pan features to enlarge the map and move the image on the screen.
  • If you have the address of an ancestor from 1940, find the address on the map and then look for the enumeration district number for that address. The map may have many other numbers on it. The ED number may be a two part number separated by a hyphen (in the red box below). The first number represents the county number and the second number the number of the enumeration district within that county.
  • Save the enumeration district numbers for the opening of the 1940 Census on April 2, 2012. You will be able to search the digitized copies of the Census by ED number and then browse for your family members' Census entry.

Search the 1940 Census Enumeration District Descriptions

  • Go to the Online Public Access search (OPA): at
  • Enter 1940 Census enumeration district descriptions + the county + the state: 1940 Census enumeration district descriptions Sussex Delaware
  • You can narrow the search by including a town name in the search: 1940 Census enumeration district descriptions Sussex Delaware
  • In the search results, click on the title of the description to see the full description.

Use the Search Utilities at

These utilities are useful tools to search for 1940 EDs from addresses or locations as well as to convert a 1930 Census ED to a 1940 Census ED.

Read my cousin Russ Worthington's 1940 Census Preparation - Identify ED's

See Connie Potter on the 1940 Census

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

1940 Census: Cram Course Step 2

Still busy preparing for Monday's release the 1940 Census on April 2, 2012? It will be available for online searching free of charge at Be sure to join the webinar sessions to SHARE what you discover once the images go live.If you are still cramming to prepare... 

Collect addresses for these people for whom you plan to search.
Sources for addresses include:

  • City Directories (NARA has original Circa 1940 City Directories for Washington, DC. The Library of Congress holds a large nationwide collection of city directories and many libraries hold local directories.)
  •  The 1930 Census (useful for people who did not move between 1930 and 1940). If you have a person's enumeration district (ED) number from the 1930 Census you can use "The Converting between 1930 and 1940 Census ED1940s in One Step" search utility at to find the equivalent ED for the 1940 Census.
  • World War II Draft Records (contact the National Archives' Regional Location for the state in which your ancestor lived)
  • Naturalization Petitions or Declarations of Intent filed close to 1940 (contact the National Archives' Regional Location for the state in which your ancestor lived)
  • Look at City Directories at
  • Look for city directories using Google. You never know what's been scanned by individuals, societies or organizations and place online.
  • Search newspapers at for information from society pages, etc. that may list your ancestors.
  • A death certificate for a spouse will likely list the home address.

Paula Stuart-Warren shares ideas in Finding Addresses for the 1940 Census.

Wendy Lettrell injects humor into our 1940 census prep with Are You Ready?

Randy Seaver posted many articles in his Genea-Musings blog.

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

1940 Census: Cram Course Step 1

The National Archives will release the 1940 Census on April 2, 2012. It will be available for online searching free of charge at

The 1940 Census will not have a name index when it opens on April 2, 2012. In order to locate someone, you will need to know his address and the 1940 census enumeration district for that address. This is the first of three blog posts prompted by info provided by NARA. 
Make a list of all the people you want to look for in the 1940 census
. Think broadly--ancestors, their siblings, cousins, etc.--anybody to whom you are related.  

Fortunately genealogy software makes it easy to create a list of those living in 1940. See recent free webinars and blog posts on this topic:
Got any more ideas? 

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

1940 Census: What are your ancestor responses?

SHARE your 1940 US Census finds beginning at 6pm Pacific US Mon-Fri the 2-6 April 2012 by joining the the update webinars hosted by Ol' Myrt here. Register at:

So, SHARE with everyone the responses given about  each member of your ancestors' household.

  • Street, avenue, road, etc.
  • House number (in cities and towns).
Household Data:
  • Number of household in order of visitation.
  • Home owned (O) or rented (R).
  • Value of home, if owned, or monthly rental, if rented.
  • Does this household live on a farm? (Yes or No).
  • Name of each person whose usual place of residence on April 1, 1940, was in this household. Be sure to include:
    • Persons temporarily absent from household. Write "Ab" after names of such persons.
    • Children under 1 year of age. Write "Infant" if child has not been given a first name.
    • Enter X after name of person furnishing information.
  • Relationship of this person to the head of the household, as wife, daughter, father, mother-in-law, grandson, lodger, lodger's wife, servant, hired hand, etc...
Personal Description:
  • Sex - Male (M), Female (F).
  • Color or race.
  • Age at last birthday.
  • Marital status - Single (S), Married (M), Widowed (Wd), Divorced (D).
  • Attended school or college any time since March 1, 1940? (Yes or No)
  • Highest grade of school completed.
Place of Birth:
  • If born in the United States, give State, Territory, or possession. If foreign born, give country in which birthplace was situated on January 1, 1937. Distinguish Canada-French from Canada-English and Irish Free State (Eire) from Northern Ireland.
  • Citizenship of the foreign born.
Residence, April 1, 1935:
IN WHAT PLACE DID THIS PERSON LIVE ON April 1, 1935? For a person who, on April 1, 1935, was living in the same house as at present, enter in Col. 17 "Same house," and for one living in a different house but in the same city or town, enter "Same place," leaving Cols. 18, 19, and 20 blank, in both instances. For a person who lived in a different place, enter city or town, county, and State, as directed in the Instructions. (Enter actual place of residence, which may differ from mail address.)
  • City, town, or village having 2,500 or more inhabitants. Enter "R" for all other places.
  • County.
  • State (or Territory or foreign country).
  • On a farm? (Yes or No).

Persons 14 Years Old and Over - Employment Status:

  • Was this person AT WORK for pay or profit in private or nonemergency Gov't. work during week of March 24-30? (Yes or No).
  • If not, was he at work on, or assigned to, public EMERGENCY WORK (WPA, NYA, CCC, etc.) during week of March 24-30? (Yes or No).
If neither at work nor assigned to public emergency work. ("No" in Cols. 21 and 22).
  • Was this person SEEKING WORK? (Yes or No).
  • If not seeking work, did he HAVE A JOB, business, etc.? (Yes or No).

    For persons answering "No" to question 21, 22, 23 and 24.
  • Indicate whether engaged in home housework (H), in school (S), unable to work (U), or other (Ot).

    If at private or nonemergency Govt. work. "Yes" in col. 21.
  • Number of hours worked during week of March 24-30, 1940. If seeking work or assigned to public emergency work. ("Yes" in Col. 22 or 23).
  • Duration of unemployment up to March 30, 1940 - in weeks.
Occupation, Industry and Class of Worker:
For a person at work, assigned to public emergency work, or with a job ("Yes" in Col. 21, 22, or 24), enter present occupation, industry, and class of worker. For a person seeking work ("Yes" in Col. 23): a) if he has previous work experience, enter last occupation, industry, and class of worker; or b) if he does not have previous work experience, enter "New worker" in Col. 28, and leave Cols. 29 and 30 blank.
  • Occupation: Trade, profession, or particular kind of work, as frame spinner, salesman, laborer, rivet heater, music teacher.
  • Industry: Industry or business, as cotton mill, retail grocery, farm, shipyard, public school.
  • Class of Worker.
  • Number of weeks worked in 1939 (Equivalent full-time weeks).

Income in 1939 (12 months ended December 31, 1939):

  • Amount of money wages or salary received (including commissions).
  • Did this person receive income of $50 or more from sources other than money wages or salary? (Yes or No).
  • Number of Farm Schedule.

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

Friday, March 30, 2012

SHARING at the nightly 1940 Census Webinars

During each of the webinars 2-6 April 2012 beginning at 6pm Pacific US time, we would like to share a lot of your success stories -- what you've found, how the process worked. That's how we'll learn - by sharing.
So blog about it, tweet about it, Facebook about it. Upload images to Flickr. Whatever it takes. Just SHARE what you are doing with the 1940 US census. 
Here are some of the places I'll look for your postings to share during the webinar:

Share info about Census Images:
  • Twitter - send me a tweet with link to your blog post, or to your web photo album - @DearMYRTLE  
  • Upload a picture on my Facebook page:
  • Post a comment to this blog post with a link to your blog, web album, or website.
 Share info about the indexing process: 
Ol' Myrt here has switched next week's nightly 1940 census webinars from her small 100-person capacity to a big 1,000-person capacity room, thanks to RootsMagic. There has been such an outpouring of interest, we want as many people as possible to participate live. The session will also be recorded, and will appear shortly after each webinar has concluded. 

So join me and my guest panelists to share what you've discovered as the images have been released.

Amy Johnson Crow - (they built the images website for NARA)
Jim Ericson - FamilySearch
Steve Morse - One-Step
Joel Weintraub - One-Step
Russ Worthington - my cousin, a power FTM user

Each has been asked to share some screen shots just in case we cannot get into the sites live to demonstrate functionality. They are here to answer your questions and to provide feedback from your experiences.

You may attend any or all sessions with your single registration.
REGISTER ONCE to receive log-in info and reminders for all five nights.

MONDAY Apr 2nd
FRIDAY April 6th


9pm Eastern US
8pm Central US
7pm Mountain US
6pm Pacific US

If you need a time zone converter, there is a great one located here:
Here are some questions to get us started:

The images:
-- Were there challenges logging in at to view the images?
-- Have you found an ancestor?
-- Did you use ED maps for larger cities or browse the complete county?
-- In what formats can one save the image?
-- Are there issues zooming in and out, or do you think things are moving smoothly?
-- Was the website timing out, or did things run smoothly?
-- Do you like the image viewer?
-- If you are having issues with the image viewer, which OS and web browser are you using?

The indexing:
-- Did you sign up for indexing at
-- Have you been notified that your state is available for indexing yet?
-- Is this process running smoothly?
-- Have you previously done work as an indexer?
-- Have you previously done work as an arbitrator?
-- We've heard that the first 5 states that will be indexed are Delaware, Virginia, Kansas, Oregon and Colorado.


Once registered you will receive an email confirming your registration with information you need to join the Webinar, including instructions about using your headset or computer speakers to hear what is being said. There are also instructions for calling in to listen via telephone.

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

1940 Census Image: minimize access issues


Several have indicated they are planning to hook up two or three computers to expedite their search of the unindexed 1940 US census images. AAACK!

Genealogists the world over are looking forward to the release of the digital images of the 1940 census at at 9am Eastern US, Monday 2 April 2012.

Please, let's not clog up the access.

Many remember the "crash" when went live. Ancestry Insider is just holding his breath wondering when and where the crash will occur with the 1940 census images and indexing. He admits to being a bit like Chicken Little in his post titled 1940 Census Crashes.

So let's be fair, play nice in the sandbox, share with others. Use just one computer to access the images, thereby cutting down on the load on NARA's servers.

Spend your time on the other computer indexing, once those images go into the queue.

Don't forget to tune in to the nightly 1940 US Census Images & Indexing UPDATE Monday through Friday next week.

Just saying...

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

MyHeritage grows committment to US presence

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: Hmm. We need a scorecard to keep track of who is working for whom in the world of genealogy. This is welcome news as these fellows know their stuff. Please address all inquiries to

MyHeritage appoints industry heavyweights to spearhead global content growth
Appointment of senior executives boosts MyHeritage’s US presence, drives growth of historical content and kick-starts preparations for worldwide crowdsourcing project

PROVO, Utah & LONDON & TEL AVIV, Israel – March 30, 2012 – MyHeritage, the most popular family network on the web, announced today the appointment of industry veterans Russ Wilding and Roger Bell to Chief Content Officer and VP Product, respectively. The former founders and lead executives of, acquired by in 2010 for $27 million, will boost MyHeritage’s US operations in Utah by establishing a new department for adding historical content and rolling-out an extensive global crowdsourcing project.  
The new hires will strengthen MyHeritage’s leadership in the global family history market. Their mission will be to substantially grow historical record content to complement the unique combination of family social-networking and massive user contributed content that has catapulted MyHeritage to becoming the world’s largest network for discovering and sharing family memories. The move adds significant momentum to MyHeritage’s expansion into historical content, following its November 2011 acquisition of FamilyLink Inc. with a library of four billion records, and its recent announcement to make the 1940 U.S. Census available to users free of charge in April 2012.
“We’re delighted to bring Russ and Roger on board as we enter a new period of vigorous growth”, said MyHeritage Founder and CEO, Gilad Japhet. “Their impressive track record as social thinkers within the family history world will be an ideal fit for MyHeritage, as we realize our vision of enabling families around the world to explore their family history, share important memories and stay connected.”

A highly regarded visionary with proven execution capabilities within the family history market, Russ Wilding will establish and lead a new department that will acquire, license, transcribe, crowdsource and produce historical records - such as census, birth and marriage records. Russ brings a wealth of expertise in historical content acquisition, licensing and digitization from his previous 11-year role as CEO of iArchives, Inc. and Founder and CEO of its customer-facing website, which was sold to in 2010.
As VP Product, alongside MyHeritage’s strong product team, Roger Bell will focus on building next-generation community infrastructure and tools for the crowdsourcing of historical record production. This massive community-based initiative will involve assistance and participation from the millions of users of MyHeritage in the deciphering of handwriting and the keying in of information from digitized historical records. During the four years he spent at as Senior VP Product and Development, Roger was instrumental in defining the strategic direction of and in the creation and management of the team.  Prior to joining, he was Director of Product Management at from 2002 until 2006, where he was in charge of the search engine, user experience and community tools.  He was also a member of the CEO’s advisory committee.
 “After a year of evaluating potential new ventures in the industry, MyHeritage emerged as the clear front-runner”, said the newly appointed Chief Content Officer at MyHeritage and father of five, Russ Wilding. “Enjoying phenomenal growth as the most social player in the family history industry, MyHeritage is poised to become the de-facto site for families, emulating what Facebook is to friends and LinkedIn is to professionals. With a talented and multi-national team, state-of-the art products and stellar investors, MyHeritage has all the ingredients to succeed.  I am thrilled to join MyHeritage and look forward to a tremendous ride over the coming years.”
“I strongly resonate with the core vision of MyHeritage: helping families across the world stay connected, by creating the best experience to discover and share their heritage. MyHeritage is pushing industry boundaries by bringing family history to a worldwide audience in 38 languages. I look forward to playing a pivotal role in driving this forward with my desire to help keep meaningful family stories alive for generations to come, and my passion for delivering value to customers."
With more than 62 million registered users and 22 million family trees, MyHeritage has become the trusted home on the web for families wishing to explore their family history, share memories and stay connected.
About MyHeritage
MyHeritage is the most popular family network on the web. On MyHeritage, millions of families around the world enjoy having a private and free place to explore their history and share special family memories. Pioneers in making family history a collaborative experience for all the family, MyHeritage empowers its users with a unique mix of innovative social tools and a massive library of historical content. The site is available in 38 languages. So far more than 62 million people have signed up to MyHeritage. The company is backed by Accel Partners and Index Ventures, the investors of Facebook and Skype. For more information visit