At FGS, the annual gathering of genealogical societies held this year in Birmingham, Alabama, genealogists were invited to celebrate the success of the 1940 US Census Community Project and re-direct their indexing energy toward the next “big thing,” the US Immigration & Naturalization Community Project.
As the umbrella organization for America’s genealogical societies and planners of the annual FGS conference, the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) was instrumental in helping to rally support for the 1940 US Census project from among its member society ranks. In total some 434 societies, large and small, participated in indexing and arbitrating more than 15 million records.
Among societies’ most important contributions was lending their expertise to the task of arbitration. Because the 1940 US Census project attracted large numbers of new indexers, more expertise was needed to help catch basic indexing errors. Experienced genealogists stepped up and provided just the kind of help that was needed to keep the pace of arbitration in step with indexing, allowing the project to complete two months ahead of schedule.
Leading the way in arbitration was a consortium of societies organized by the Missouri State Archives. Included in the group were members of the St. Louis Genealogical Society, Missouri State Genealogical Association, Dallas County Historical Society, and the Genealogical Society of Central Missouri. Together these organizations and their members arbitrated more than 750,000 records and indexed over 838,000 for a total contribution over 1.5 million records! Tiny Lamar County Texas Genealogical Society, with just nine members participating, finished second overall in the arbitration derby with just over 487,000 records arbitrated! For a full listing of societies and their indexing and arbitration contributions, visit https://the1940census.com/society/society-dashboard/.