Can You Feel the Excitement?
On April 2 of this year, FamilySearch, its partners, and an army of volunteers embarked on a truly remarkable effort to index the 1940 U.S. census so that the public could easily and quickly find their ancestors in this valuable census collection. Many people living today are listed in this census. For others, their parents, aunts, uncles, friends, and neighbors can be found in this census. This census collection has long been anticipated by genealogists and the general public with great excitement.
Representatives from the Family History Department went to Washington, D.C., on April 2 to personally receive the digitized images from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). By law, no one could have access to those census records until 9 a.m. that morning. Within hours, the images were uploaded by our staff members onto the Internet. By the end of the day, the records of several states were available for viewing. After a few days, the public was able to have full access to these images, which represent the population of every state in the union and even some of the United States territories in 1940.
FamilySearch is working in partnership with Archives.com, findmypast.com, ProQuest.com, archives.gov/historical, and genealogical societies throughout the United States to index these records. The results of this united effort are nothing less than remarkable. The following statistics provide a picture of how truly remarkable the progress has been.
- More than 112,000 indexers have signed up to help index this census collection.
- After only 8 weeks, more than 40 percent of the project was fully indexed.
- To date, 18 states have been completely indexed.
- Another 4 states are more than 90 percent complete.
- Of the 18 states that have been fully indexed, 6 states have been posted as searchable indexes on FamilySearch.org.
- So far, after 8 weeks, more than 54 million records have been indexed.
These are truly impressive numbers. Reading the comments coming in from the field shows a great level of excitement from those who are actively involved with indexing these records. We invite all family history consultants to take some time and index a page or two. You will then see and feel firsthand what the excitement is all about—and you’ll be better prepared to help those you serve join in participating in this great cause, too.