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Tag: 1940 census

The Crossroads of the Genealogy World

(Courtesy of NARA Staff)

Pennsylvania Avenue is synonymous with iconic destinations and extraordinary events. From the White House to the United States Capitol, the notable institutions that line the street have hosted many of America’s most momentous occasions. Last month, the National Archives Building at 700 Pennsylvania Avenue continued this tradition by holding its Eighth Annual Genealogy Fair.

The fair, which was free to the public, took place April 18-19 on Pennsylvania Plaza in front of the Archives. Throughout the two-day event, the National Archives showcased Federal records that can be used as resources for family history research. In addition, staff members and exhibitors provided information for both experienced genealogists and novices.

This year’s fair featured the addition of three large classroom tents for informational lectures. These sessions included workshops on records relating to immigration, land, naturalization, military, online resources, and more.

When visitors were not viewing exhibits and attending sessions, they were primarily discussing the recent release of the 1940 census in digital form. Many visitors revealed that they are now using social media and web tools to locate their relatives.

If you are interested in helping to index the 1940 census, join the online indexing project and start creating a name index for the 1940 census today. To start, find census maps and descriptions to locate an enumeration district. Then browse census … [ Read all ]

Thursday Photo Caption Contest—April 26

"Spring Fashion Week featured a variety of on trend canvas jumpsuits, accessorized with over the shoulder ammo in this seasons must have metals"!

We’re not always fashion forward here in the National Archives (archivists wear blue coats over the street clothes to protect themselves from the dust and dirt that come from working in the stacks), but we were inspired by the jaunty hats and shiny shoes worn by these two women. And so were many of you, apparently! We had a hard time choosing among captions that referenced Project Runway, crayons, and song lyrics.

We turned to archives technician Diane Petro, who shouldered her judging duties like a bandolier of bullets. Diane has been down in the trenches for the last several months working on the 1940 census, but now that it has been released, she has returned to her civilian life in the Research Room.

Congratulations to Michelle! Your caption was chosen by Diane as the winner! Check your e-mail for a code for a 15% discount in the National Archives eStore.

And congratulations to Florence Johnson and  Rosamund Small! These two women in the photograph (ARC 520612; 80-G-45240) were the first WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) to qualify as instructors on electrically operated 50-caliber machine gun turrets. Here they are walking to the target range at the Naval Air Gunners School in Hollywood, Florida (April … [ Read all ]

Facial Hair Friday: The Enumerated Mustache

Photograph of Farmer Listening to Radio Discussion, Clarkston, Utah, 08/1933 (ARC 594941)

Don’t be fooled by the sleepy demeanor of this mustachioed man. It’s 1933, and the world is changing. And the Federal Government would be recording these changes on April 1, 1940.

Over 120,000 enumerators would fan out across 48 states and 2 territories, with copies of this Federal Decennial Census Population Schedule. They would use sled dogs in Alaska. They would go to homes in railroad cars. They would talk to famers, veterans, lodgers, women, and men.

They would count this man (and his ‘stache) and anyone else at home at the time. And since he was a farmer, they would ask him 232 questions as part of the Farm Schedule.

And all this personal information on 132.2 million citizens been kept private and secure for the last 72 years.

But on Monday, April 2, at 9 a.m., we’re releasing the 1940 census!

The 3.8 million images that make up the 1940 census will be available online to search for free at http://1940census.archives.gov/.

There are so many reasons that this is significant—it’s the first time we are releasing our information online through a gov website. It’s the first time there was a supplemental series of questions for 1 in 20 people. It’s the first time that the census did not include a question asking … [ Read all ]

Going Digital: The 1940 Census Hits the Web and YouTube

On April 2 at 9 a.m. (EDT), the National Archives will launch its first-ever online U.S. census release. By visiting 1940census.archives.gov, internet users can access a digitized version of the entire census, including more than 3.8 million images of schedules, maps, and enumeration district descriptions.

The first Federal Population Census was taken in 1790, and a census has been taken every ten years since then. While the original intent of the census was to determine how many representatives each state could send to Congress, today these records serve as vital research tools for sociologists, demographers, historians, political scientists and genealogists.

In celebration of this historic release, the National Archives has produced a series of short documentary videos on our YouTube channel. These must-watch videos provide unique insight into the areas of agriculture, housing, and population.

For a “behind-the-scenes” view of staff preparations and a tutorial on how to use the data that you will find once the 1940 Census is launched, check out this short documentary.

[ Read all ]

Facial Hair Friday: When Irish mustaches are smiling

Patrick Joseph Kennedy, circa 1900. From the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston KFC 2706 (PC 245)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

With all the hoopla over the upcoming release of the 1940 census on April 2, we haven’t really been thinking about facial hair all that much.

But then fellow National Archives staff member Jeannie (of the OurPresidents tumblr blog) sent me this photograph, and genealogy, facial hair, and St. Patrick’s Day all came together.

The mustachioed and bespectacled man to the left is Patrick J.  Kennedy, the grandfather of President John F. Kennedy and—like many Americans—the child of Irish immigrants.

His mustache, while of Irish descent, was grown in the United States.

JFK’s great-grandfather was Patrick Kennedy. He left his work as a cooper in his hometown of Dunganstown, County Wexford, and made his way to the United States and settled in Boston.

In 1849, Patrick married another Irish immigrant, Bridget Murphy, who also came from County Wexford. But after just nine years of marriage, Patrick died and left Bridget a widow with four small children. The youngest was Patrick Joseph “P.J.” Kennedy, JFK’s grandfather.

P.J. continued the family line by marrying Mary Augusta Hickey, whose parents were also orginally from Ireland. The couple lived in East Boston and their son, Joseph Patrick Kennedy, was born on September 6, 1888.  He was John F. Kennedy’s father.

Many Americans can trace their … [ Read all ]