Hooray! The 1940 Census is 50% Indexed!

The indexes for 25 states (plus the District of Columbia) for the 1940 Census have been released, putting the census at the half way point.  This is great news, right?

But, how do you work with a partially indexed census? Not all of the states have been indexed, so what families do you look for and where should you look for them?  The GenDetective solution is to research by state.  The “Missing this census in this state” report provides a way to target people who may have lived in an indexed state!  This report comes in two versions, and can be found in the GenDetective Reporter by going to:

  1. Reports by Task tab
  2. What information should I research online?
  3. Census Records
  4. Select either: For families or For people
  5. Missing this census in this state
    People to find in the 1940 Census in a specific state
    1940 Census for state

The report will include any family (or person), who is expected to be in the census, and at any time, had an event placing them in the specified state.  Does this mean that you will find a specific family (or person) in the state you specified?  No, not necessarily.  Using the 1940 US Census for Indiana sample report, note the first cousin five times removed family of  Judson David Hayes and Martha A Steger.

Judson Hayes timeline
Judson Hayes timeline

This family appears in at three different 1940 Census state reports.  Why? Based on what we know about Judson, he moved his family around quite a bit.  Looking at his personal timeline we see:

  • Judson was born in Clark County, Oh.
  • He lived in both Campaign and Cook County, Il.
  • In the 1930 census he was in Gary, In.
  • Judson died in 1941 in Campaign County, Il.

Until I locate this family in the 1940 Census, I will find them listed in reports for:  Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.  As of today, the indexes for both Indiana and Ohio have been released, but the index for Illinois has not.  If I find Judson and Martha in Indiana or Ohio, great!  If not, I will look for them later, when the Illinois index is released.

Using the “Missing this census in this state” report provides a way to research census records for specific states, while we wait (impatiently) for the remainder of the states to be indexed.  Good luck with your research!

PS: for those who want to know, I found Judson and Martha living in Gary, Indiana when the 1940 census was taken.

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