Friday, July 13, 2012

1940 Census: Does Your State Have a Name Index?



Indexing of the 1940 Census is going faster than I had expected, but it still is not fast enough. God give us patience and hurry up about it! 


The images have only been available for three and a half months, and already name indexes are available for 38 states and the District of Columbia. No single site has name indexes for that many states. However, between FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com a majority of the country is now available for searching by name. Both are providing free access--at least until the end of 2013. FamilySearch promises free access forever. Below is a list of the states for which name indexes are already accessible:


Ancestry.com
FamilySearch.org
Alabama
Alaska

Arizona
Arkansas


California
Colorado
Connecticut


Delaware
District of Columbia

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii
Idaho

Illinois


Indiana
Iowa

Kansas
Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine
Maryland


Massachusetts


Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri


Montana
Nebraska

Nevada
New Hampshire

New Jersey


New Mexico

New York

North Carolina


North Dakota
Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina


South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas


Utah

Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia


Wisconsin

Wyoming



What is coming next?

Ancestry claims the next batch of states will include "AK, AR, ID, MA, MN, MO, NM, ND, OK, RI, SD, UT". Ancestry also also offers the opportunity to signup to be notified when specific states have name indexes available to be searched.

Several states including Arkansas and Missouri appear on the verge of having their name indexes go live at FamilySearch. Texas, West Virginia and Pennsylvania may not be far behind.

Later this summer HeritageQuest plans to start rolling out its version of this census.

However, for the foreseeable future, anyone researching my wife's family in Chicago will have to rely on location searching using the helpful 1-Step guides prepared by Joel Weintraub and Steve Morse which have been discussed previously on this blog. So will any of you who are researching the Carolinas, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey. With better family planning we would not have allowed our families to live in these states in 1940.  

In any case I expect all these states to be available long before my original expectation of the end of 2012.  The friendly competition between the two indexing teams has been a great service to all of us. Thank you volunteers and paid employees alike who have caused this mammoth project to move along so quickly. 

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