Two – count them – TWO more days! At midnight on April 2nd, the United States National Archives will release the 1940 census – the first to be released in 72 years. For those of us that research our family history – this is like the Super Bowl on steroids! I am essentially foaming at the mouth. I can’t wait to find my father (and many other family) in the 1940 census. And then there are the brick walls – will the 1940 census solve some mysteries for me?
Stephen P. Morse in his article published in the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly (December of 2011) stated that a complete name index will not exist until at least six months after opening day. Consequently, if you hope to find your ancestors in the 1940 census, you will need to find them by location – and specifically you will need to know which enumeration district they resided in. You can read the entirety of Mr. Morse’s article here. Additionally, Stephen Morse has a tool on his website which he calls the “One-Step.” This will enable you to quickly figure out the enumeration district that your ancestor lived in and hopefully give you a head start into the search for your ancestors in the 1940 census.
Fun facts about 1940:
….the average car cost $1,611
….a gallon of gas cost 18 cents
….a loaf of bread cost 8 cents
….a typical man’s suit cost $24.50
….nylons cost 20 cents
….an Emerson radio cost $19.65
….a Philco refrigerator cost $239
….a pork loin roast cost .45/pound
….the average home cost $3,920
….a Sealy mattress cost $38
….the movie “Rebecca” by Alfred Hitchcock won the Academy Award
….the song “Frenesi” by Artie Shaw was a top song
We laugh at these costs now – but keep in mind – taking inflation into account – $100 of their money would translate to $1,433.771 in today’s market.
For those of you who are working on the same family lines – let’s partner up – no sense in duplicating effort! As I find family in the 1940 – I will post here. As you find family – send me the image.
I know what I’m doing this weekend – I’m hunting down enumeration districts !