The 1940 Federal Census was released on April 2, 2012 and it contains new information that
will be valuable to genealogists and family historians. This census will be available online for
searching at no charge to you.
The above photo is part of Sussex County, Delaware.
You will still need to know the state, county and city your ancestors and relatives lived in. What is new
is you will need to know the Enumeration District Number(s). In order to find the enumeration
number, you will need to know the city and the street address. A few of the previous census records
do show the name of the street but not the house numbers.
The first item on your research list is finding the street addresses for the 1940 Federal Census; available in many cities and towns,
you will find city directories and telephone books. Also you may find an address through church records,
such as a mailing list. The church may have mailed church calendars, cards (birthday, getwell),
magazines and special bulletins.
Back to city directories, most of these directories list people 3 ways. First by their surname, next
by the street address, also by business or profession. Always look by surname first, then check the street
address here you may find other people living at that address.
Telephone books listed people by name giving address and phone number. There is also the yellow pages for
all types of businesses. If you have knowledge that your grandfather owned a grocery store look to see if
he ran an ad in the telephone book.
In your searching search everyone possible: mother,father, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. Where you
find one person there maybe others near by.
The above photo shows an enumeration district in Sussex County, Delaware.
In identifying the enumeration district in which each address is located, we have several ways to do this:
Search the 1940 Census Maps for Enumeration District Numbers. Some enumeration numbers may have two numbers:
example 5-50. Sussex County, Delaware sample is 3-46. You may enter information two ways:
First: 1940 Census Maps county state==1940 Census maps Sussex Delaware.
Second: to narrow the search enter a city: 1940 Census maps Sussex Milford Delaware. Sussex is the county
and Milford the city. This Delaware example is on the National Archives Website.
I checked my county Lake Indiana and was surprised at the information that appeared on my county. The
enumeration numbers are: ED45-1 thru Ed 45-137.
The maps have to be enlarged to read any of the names or numbers.
Go online: http://www.archives.gov/research/search/. look to see what you can find.
Note: If you have the 1930 Federal Census enumeration district number, you may use the converter on the National
http://stevemorse.org/census/ed2040.php?year=1940 to find the equivalent ED for the 1940 Census.
As you can see some of this information is from the National Archives Website.1940 Federal Census Abbreviations
These abbreviations may be known to you and some are new to this census.
1. "AB" person absent when census was actually taken.
2. "NA" person has been naturalized.
3. "PA" person has begun naturalization process.
4. "Am Cit" American citizens who were born at sea or abroad.New Deal Programs by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
1. "CCC" Civilian Conservation Corps
2. "NYA" National Youth Administration
3. "WPA" Works Progress Administration
There are numerous questions in this federal census, the usual name, gender, age and/or birth date or place.
New questions are: highest grade of school completed. Also did he/she attend school or college this year.
There are questions on employment on all persons living in the household age 14 and up, remember the previous
ten years were part of the "Great Depression" and more people were unemployed and than working.
The abbreviations and programs and questions on the census were taken from an article by Juliana Smith of
Additional information from National Archives. First the records for the 1940 Federal census have been indexed by the enumeration number.
Second I was concerned when I saw that one city in Lake County, Indiana had a different numbering system from the rest of the county. When the person looked into the matter, I was told that the biggest city (most populated) was given a different enumeration number from the remainder of the county.
The following are 2 urls' for the National Archives to find the long list of questions being asked in the 1940 Federal Census.
The other url is for ordering the maps, plans and aerial