Fort Worth National Archives Director Spoke On the 1940 Census
March 4, 2012
The Director of the National Archives in Fort Worth, Meg Hacker, spoke on the soon to be released 1940 census last Saturday at the lecture sponsored by Genealogy Friends of the Plano Libraries. This will be the first census available online from the beginning. Ms. Hacker gave an entertaining and informative talk leaving no doubt she had thoroughly studied the subject. She did have handouts for those at the meeting. If you missed it, her handouts are online at http://genealogyfriends.org/news/. (The handout links are just below the blurb on the March 17 Seminar info) The Archive link to the soon to be displayed online-digitized census is www.1940census.archives.gov/. This link will NOT open until the census is released by our government at 8 a.m. on April 2, 2012.
She discussed research preparation, the ribbon cutting party at the 8 a.m. opening on April 2 at the Fort Worth Archives, instructions to the enumerator and finding aids to help with the search. Believe me when I tell you that you will need finding aids to discover your people on this census because to date there is no index. Some of my people lived at the same place as on the 1930 census, but others did not. Those living in the country may be difficult to find without an index. The finding aids are online at www.archives.gov/research/census/1940/finding-aids.html and at the Family Search site shown below.
The instructions to the enumerators was interesting, although much of the information is standard, some of it was definitely new. I found interesting questions such as where people had lived during the previous five years, highest education level, and it asked detailed income and occupation questions. Women in the work force were of particular interest to the census bureau in 1940.
Attending the crowded ribbon cutting party will be a historic event. Gabriel Sanchez, the Regional Director for the Census Bureau in Dallas, will cut the ribbon. There will be fun activities throughout the week at the Fort Worth branch, not just that Monday morning. Since it will not have an index for a while, staff and volunteers will be on hand to help you with any of your questions.
UPCOMING CLASS ON INDEXING 1940 CENSUS: If you could help with the indexing, please follow this link, www.familysearch.org/1940census, to volunteer on the FamilySearch website. There is no set amount of indexing per day per volunteer. If you want to volunteer but need some help with getting started please email Barbara Coakley at email@example.com. Barbara is putting together a class on indexing so you will need to email her to add your name to her list.
LIBRARY REMOVED CDs AND CD COMPUTER: Many libraries remove collections each year that are outdated or not circulated. Our Genealogy Library just removed the CD collection and the CD computer. The major CD collection was a couple decades of the census. We now have these digitized as well as on microfilm. I do not recall what else was on CDs in the library. Many of the CDs were not compatible with the upgrades in the library. They did keep the Animap and Centennia Historical Atlas collection. Cheryl Smith told me the library is looking forward to future purchases of books, databases, and microfilm.
DATES OF EASTER FROM 1600-2099: Ever wonder what calendar day Easter fell in a certain year? Maybe you found in an obituary clipping that a person died on Easter Sunday 1977. Knowing collections of clippings usually do not tell the newspaper name or date, finding the day by searching the Internet can be time consuming. On this site, www.census.gov/srd/www/genhol/easter500.html#easter1900, you can find the date and add it to your data or save the link on your Favorites for future use. There are links to the Gregorian calendar and many other items of interest.
GOOGLE GLASSES: The eyeglasses will have a special display screen showing either a 3G or 4G data connection set slightly away from the eye that contains a number of sensors including motion, GPS, email and a camera. Having this available while researching in the library would be helpful, but it scares me when I think of drivers speeding down the highway accessing the data while wearing these glasses. Google says these will be worn and used like smartphones and would not replace regular glasses. Expect these later this year for a price of $250-$600. Read more about this at http://goo.gl/8G1Lr. Apple is examining this field also but they propose a wearable device for the wrist.
Brenda Kellow has a bachelor's degree in history, teaches, and lectures on genealogy. Before retiring to publish her family’s histories in 2007, Brenda held certification as a Certified Genealogist and as a Certified Genealogical Instructor. Send reunion announcements, books to review, and genealogy queries to: TracingOurRoots@gmail.com.