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1940 - 16th Population Census of the United States

Individual Census Records from 1790 to 1950 are maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration, not the U.S. Census Bureau.

The 1940 census started April 1, 1940 from What day was the census taken each decade? at the United States Census Bureau. On April 2, 1940 Robert Hiss, the census enumerator, started recording the 16th U.S. Federal Census in Aboite Township. Unlike for the 1790-1930 census - the Internet Archive does not have the 1940 census on microfilm online. It is available for Free for Allen County at our ACGSI page and the entire U.S Federal census is at Find My Past.

See the 1940 Overview atthe United States Census Bureau.

Census Instructions

The decennial census has always required a large workforce to visit and collect data from households. Between 1790 to 1870, the duty of collecting census data fell upon the U.S. Marshals. A March 3, 1879 act replaced the U.S. Marshals with specially hired and trained census-takers to conduct the 1880 and subsequent censuses.

During the early censuses, U.S. Marshalls received little training or instruction on how to collect census data. In fact, it was not until 1830 that marshals even received printed shedules on which to record households' responses. The marshals often received limited instruction from the census acts passed prior to each census. 

Beginning with the 1880 census, specially hired and trained census-takers replaced the U.S. marshals. Door-to-door census by temporary census-takers was the primary method of conducting the census until the U.S. Census Bureau began mailing questionnaires to households in 1960.

As more and more households received and returned their questionnaires by mail, the role of census-taker changed. Today, the majority of households are counted by mailed questionnaires. Census-takers visit places frequented by transient households (shelters and soup kitchens, campsites, etc.) and households that do not return their mailed questionnaires (during the "Nonresponse Follow-Up" phase of the census). As a result, the "Instructions to Enumerators" provided here include the congressional acts U.S. marshalls reviewed during the early census, specially-published instructions for door-to-door census, and lastly, guides used for the limited number of personal interviews conducted during nonresponse follow-up operations.

Copied from the Census Intructions at the United States Census Bureauthat has the 1940 Instructions.

Alphabetical Name List for 1940 Census

ACGSI.org has an alphabetical surname list with image links of the Allen County Census, 1940 - View Census Records by Name for every Allen County, Indiana resident.

10 minute 1940 Federal Census enumerator training video
One of over 850 videos on the National Archives YouTube Channel
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3 minute National Archive video from 1940 Census Official Website
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The 1940 Census and Preparing for the 1950 Census published June 21, 2021 by the Allen County Public Library on YouTube, their description:
For those of us devoted to family history, “Census Release Day” is an informal but long-anticipated holiday every ten years. As genealogists, we eagerly await each new release of the Census and the treasure trove of information it will bring. Unfortunately, we must wait 72 years after each Census is compiled before it will be released to the public. Along that timeline, the 1950 Census is slated for release in April of 2022. However, each Census is unique due to changing questions from the previous versions. What can we expect from the 1950 Census? How many questions will be on it? How can we prepare for the release? This presentation will answer these questions and more. Attendees will also learn how to use knowledge from the 1940 Census release to assist them in their 1950 research. Presented by Allison Singleton. Learn more about the Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library at www.genealogycenter.org.

Links to Online Census Records

The 16th census is the first digital census available online from the National Archives. The 1940 census indexing volunteers started April 4, 2012 and finished just 5 months later on August 4, 2012 and the last 5 states were posted by August 21, 2014 !

  1. ACGSI.org has an alphabetical surname list of the Allen County Census, 1940 - View Census Records by Name for every Allen County, Indiana resident.
  2. Ancestry.comblank 1940 census part 1 and part 2
  3. Ancestry.comCensus Search - and celebrities
  4. Cyndi's List of links for 1940 Census
  5. FamilyLink.com 1940 Census Images
  6. FamilySearch.orgWiki 1940 Census Information
  7. FamilySearch.orgBrowse 1940 Census by Township
  8. Search U.S. Census Index
  9. FamilySearch.orgWiki for Indiana Census 1807 - 1940 links organized by year to various online census records.
  10. FindMyPast.com Free US Census 1940 a different search page
  11. Indiana Genenealogical SocietyIndiana in the 1940 Census - some quick facts about Indiana in 1940 March 20, 2012 blog
  12. The Journal Gazette newspaper '40 census fills gaps in house’s story 145-year-old home once belonged to early city leader Franklin Randall April 29, 2012 by Dan Stockman.
  13. Journal Gazette Tennis great among 1 million blacks missed by ’40 census 1 million black uncounted in 1940 May 21, 2012 Associated Press newspaper article
  14. My Heritage.com 1940 Census Images
  15. The National Archives 1940 Blank Federal Census Form
  16. The National Archives 1940 Census Records - information
  17. The National Archives 1940 Census - Official Government 1940 Census Website to start your search!
  18. The National Archives 1940 Federal Population Census General Information page
  19. The National Archives Enumeration Districts - know the 1940 address - use the Steve Morse ED maps below locate the correct ED number
  20. The National Archives Research Our Records 1940 census information
  21. Steve Morse How to Access the 1940 Census in One Step
  22. Steve Morse Unified 1940 Census ED Finder know the address, find the Enumeration District - use map images
  23. Steve Morse More Census Tools
  24. the1940census.com The 1940 Census.com - joint project Archives.com, FamilySearch, findmypast.com
  25. the1940census.com 1940 News and Events
  26. the1940census.com What Is The 1940 US Census Minute? - “There should be a return on the Population schedule for each person alive at the beginning of the Census Day, i.e., 12:01 a.m. on April 1, 1940. Thus, persons who died after 12:01 a.m. should be enumerated; and infants born after 12:01 a.m. on April 1, 1940, should not be enumerated.”
  27. United States Census Bureau 1940 Census Information
  28. No USGenWeb 1940 Census transcription or indexing
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Page updated: June 9, 2022