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Thursday, April 05, 2012

1940 CENSUS NEWS FROM ANCESTRY.COM

I don’t know about you, but I personally haven’t been sleeping well. But this is a good thing—I’m up all night and bleary-eyed from scrolling through brand-new census pages and looking at enumeration maps. How about you? Who have you found so far?

There are a few things we really want to make sure you know are available:

YouTube

We have been doing live video demos all week to help people navigate the 1940 census. We archived those videos on our YouTube channel. We covered how to find an address for your family, how to use the enumeration district maps to determine the ED of that address, and how to browse directly to the images. Please feel free to share these videos when your friends ask questions.

Facebook

The 1940 census is attracting plenty of new genealogists to our ranks. That means our Facebook page is swarming with questions and comments from new users. Please help them feel welcome. Sometimes it may seem like we are answering the same questions over and over, but remember, for these people, this is brand-new information. Be welcoming! Be encouraging! (Plus, you never know when you may discover one of them is your cousin.)

Also, be sure to check the Events tab on our Facebook page so you can join us for additional Livestream broadcasts and Tweetchats in the coming weeks.

Sticky Notes

If you haven’t visited our Sticky Notes blog, we invite you to do so. We’ve posted some tips and tricks for navigating the census images. Our employees have also been posting stories about who they are looking for and who they have found in the 1940 Census. Now, we want to hear your stories and if you have pictures of the people or places you are looking for, please email them to 1940stories@ancestry.com so we can post them to our 1940 Stories section and possibly to our interactive map, too.

What’s Next

Once all images are uploaded, we’ll move the focus to creating a searchable index for all 132 million records. (FYI, this process has been underway since we picked up the images at 12:01 a.m. Monday) As soon as the first state is ready, we will let you know. In the meantime, we want to know what questions you have and what questions you are hearing from your friends and followers. Please submit them to ask@ancestry.com and put “1940 FAQ” in the subject line. Based on your questions, we will create a Frequently Asked Questions document that can be shared.

Thanks for joining us on this exciting 1940 census journey! Now, try to get some sleep.

Crista Cowan
Community Alliance Manager, Ancestry.com

PS: We should have every 1940 Census page, all 3.8 million of them, online on Ancestry.com sometime tomorrow (latest ETA is by 2 p.m. Eastern Friday – maybe sooner).

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