04 August 2012

Ancestry Wins Race to Completely Index 1940 Census

Ancestry has issued the following news release announcing that it is offering the complete index to the 1940 Census:

Ancestry.com Releases Completely Searchable 1940 U.S. Federal Census

A searchable index to 134 million records makes researching family history in the latest available U.S. Census dramatically easier
PROVO, UTAH – (August 3, 2012) – Ancestry.com, the world’s largest online family history resource, is proud to announce that it has completed the records indexing process for the 1940 U.S. Federal Census, which is available atwww.ancestry.com/1940census. All 134 million records are now easily searchable by name, date, place of birth and other key information recorded in the census. These records, which are free to search, offer valuable insight for the nearly 90 percent of Americans who either have family members recorded in the 1940 U.S. Census or are in it themselves.
Since the initial release of the 1940 U.S. Census by the National Archives in April, Ancestry.com has progressively published information from this important family history resource state by state. Ancestry.com has made this vital family history information while providing an engaging user experience including the ability to search for maiden names or other family names, often a roadblock when searching records. Additionally, users can make corrections or update information that is incomplete, leading to a better overall database of information.
Assisting in navigation of the 1940 U.S. Census is Ancestry.com’s Interactive Image Viewer, which enables users to easily peruse document pages with simple graphical overlays. The viewer adds highlights, transcriptions and other functionality directly on the Census page. This enables searchers access to small census fields by simply scrolling over them for a pop up that magnifies the information recorded by census takers.  With the ability to zoom in on individual records, these new features dramatically improve the usability of the 1940 U.S. Census, which previously only included images of the paper records. These paper records, handwritten in small entry fields, have traditionally been very hard to read, making the visual enhancements in the Interactive Viewer a huge improvement.
“We are so excited to be publishing our index to the 1940 U.S. Federal Census for free on Ancestry.com,” said Tim Sullivan, CEO of Ancestry.com. “As one of the most anticipated family history resources ever, the 1940 Census is a fantastic way for almost every American to get started making discoveries about their family history as well as a key new resource for so many of our two million existing subscribers.  Experienced through our new Interactive Image Viewer, the stories and discoveries inside the 1940 Census really come to life.”
Users can now find basic information such as their ancestors’ names and where they lived, but also gain more insight about their ancestors’ daily lives. This information includes whether they owned or rented their home, the value of the residence and how many people resided there. For the first time, census takers in 1940 also asked questions specific to income and education. Interestingly, details like prior military service, the ability to read or write, and whether citizens spoke English – all asked in prior censuses – were not asked in 1940.
The entire census can be viewed online at www.ancestry.com/1940census

1 comment:

  1. The important part of the 1940 census indexing will be the quality of the indexing. Time will tell whether Ancestry or Family Search will win the accuracy award.