40 to 40

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In 40 days, the 1940 US Census will finally be released to the public. What does this mean?

If you’re a genealogist, it probably means you’ll be glued to your computer trying to access the images on one of a number of sites that will have them up right away. I have a vague memory of the 1930 census being released ten years ago and how the web sites couldn’t handle the traffic. Hopefully the technology is up to the task, in addition to multiple sites sharing the load.

Some genealogists right now are trying to find addresses for their ancestors and other relatives and look up the enumeration districts to be ready to search for them.

But what should we really be doing?

We should be signing up to help index. Three major players in the online genealogy business have teamed up to provide the images and create an index that will be available for free: FamilySearch, Archives.com, and findmypast. The place to sign up is at the1940census.com. From there, you can sign up, read a few things about the census, and download the indexing software.

So what are you waiting for? Have you signed up to help index yet? I have.

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