1940 U.S. CENSUS COMMUNITY PROJECT MAKES HISTORIC RECORDS FOR 18 STATES SEARCHABLE BY NAME, CELEBRATES MILESTONE OF 75 MILLION NAMES INDEXED THROUGH NATIONAL VOLUNTEER EFFORT
More than Half of the 1940 U.S. Census Records Indexed in Just Two Months Thanks to Thousands of Volunteers Across the U.S.
07 June 2012
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (June 7, 2012) – The 1940 U.S. Census Community Project announced today that its searchable index of 1940 U.S. census records has reached – and surpassed – the halfway mark toward completion. Thanks to the efforts of more than 125,000 volunteers, more than 75 million names from the 1940 U.S. census have been indexed with 18 state records already available to the public on all Project partner websites, including the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Archives.com, FamilySearch.org and findmypast.com. The records will also be made available in more than 7,000 public libraries nationwide in the coming months by ProQuest. The national service project, the first and largest of its kind, aims to establish a comprehensive searchable database and make the 1940 U.S. census records available for free.
Following just two months of volunteer indexing, records for the following 18 U.S. states are currently available and searchable by name, location and family relation:
- New Hampshire
“We believe that all people deserve free access to the 1940 U.S. census records so they can learn more about their family history, ancestors and the past. With the help of the Community Project partners, and especially volunteer indexers across the nation, we’re halfway to our goal,” said Megan Smolenyak, spokesperson for the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project. “We didn’t expect to make this much progress only two months after the 1940 census records were released, so we’re excited and thankful to all of the enthusiastic volunteers.”
Since April 2, Community Project volunteers have indexed more than 75 million records and this number continues to grow quickly as more than 7,000 volunteers sign up each week. The timely progression of making the census records freely searchable online is a direct result of the growing numbers of volunteers. Those interested in lending a hand can learn more and sign up to be an official 1940 U.S. census volunteer indexer at the 1940 census website (the1940census.com). The project will release free searchable records for individual states as they are completed.
The 1940 U.S. Census Community Project is a joint initiative between the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Archives.com, FamilySearch.org, findmypast.com, ProQuest and other leading genealogy organizations. Thanks to advancements in technology, online volunteers worldwide can lend a voice to countless untold stories of their ancestors living, working and persevering as the “Greatest Generation.”
“Volunteer indexers have the unique opportunity to step into the past and read through hand-written records captured by census enumerators as they walked from house to house,” said Joshua Taylor, spokesperson for the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project. “Through indexing, volunteers are essentially reliving history and helping provide others with the access they need to gain greater insights into the life and times of their own ancestors more than 72 years ago.”
To learn more about the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project, track real-time progress of volunteer indexing efforts or become a volunteer, visit the1940census.com.
About the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project
The 1940 U.S. Census Community Project is a web-based, national service project with the goal of creating as soon as possible a free, high quality online index linked to the complete set of census images. The index will allow the public to easily search every person found in the census and view digital images of the original census pages. The collection will be available online for free to the general public at 1940census.archives.gov, , Archives.com, FamilySearch.org, findmypast.com, ProQuest.com through public libraries. All of these organizations are respective website sponsors of the community project. Archives.com, findmypast.com, and ProQuest will make substantial financial contributions to make the 1940 U.S. census online name index possible and will work with the nonprofit organization FamilySearch to bring additional new historic records collections online—making even more highly valued family history resources available to the entire genealogical community.