Sunday, April 01, 2012

1940 Census: Those additional questions are...

Were your ancestors part of the 5% who were given additional questions in the 1940 US census? SHARE with us TOMORROW NIGHT at the webinar.

Supplementary Questions 35-50:

For persons enumerated on lines 14 and 29 [about a 5% sample of the population]
  • Name.
For Persons of All Ages:
Place of Birth of Father and Mother
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 from Northern Ireland.
  • Father.
  • Mother.

Mother Tongue (or Native Language):

  • Language spoken in home in earliest childhood.
Is this person a veteran of the United States military forces; or the wife, widow, or under-18-year-old child of a veteran?
  • If so, enter "Yes."
  • If child, is veteran-father dead? (Yes or No)
  • War or military service.
Social Security:
  • Does this person have a Federal Social Security Number? (Yes or No)
  • Were deductions for Federal Old-Age Insurance or Railroad Retirement made from this person's wages or salary in 1939? (Yes or No)
  • If so, were deductions made from (1) all, (2) one-half or more, (3) part, but less than half, of wages or salary?
Usual Occupation, Industry, and Class of Worker:
Enter that occupation which the person regards as his usual occupation and at which he is physically able to work. If the person is unable to determine this, enter that occupation at which he has worked longest during the past 10 years and at which he is physically able to work. Enter also usual industry and usual class of worker. For a person without previous work experience, enter "None" in column 45 and leave columns 46 and 47 blank.
  • Usual occupation.
  • Usual industry.
  • Usual class of worker.
For all women who are or have been married:
  • Has this woman been married more than once? (Yes or No)
  • Age at first marriage.
  • Number of children ever born (do not include stillbirths).

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


  1. The language question for 1940 is exciting. It was the first time that the census asked about the native language of American-born individuals. This is good news for people working on Native American ancestors and other groups who maintained their language like the Cajuns and Pennsylvania Dutch. It will also show you just how long your immigrant ancestors held on to their language. The census may tell you whether your ancestor grew up speaking a language other than English at home, even if they were born in the United States.

    Andrew Simpson
    (A Linguist's Guide to Genealogy)

  2. I am terribly hopeful that my ancestors may have been in that 5% - but which genealogist isn't? :)

  3. One hopes that someone has been able to view something about their family in time for the webinar.

    I did expect servers to be overloaded, but I hoped to be able to get a glimpse. So far, nothing.

  4. Hello there! I'm a new reader of your blog and a novice in the ancestry world. On the 1940 census what does it mean by "If foreign born, give country in which birthplace was situated on January 1, 1937." Does that mean where they were living in 1937? The word "situated" is throwing me off. Thanks!

  5. You interpreted "Situated" accurately in Ol' Myrt's estimation, i. e. "where they were living in 1937."