1940 Census United States - I Don't Know the Street Address

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I Know the Town or City But Don’t Know the Street Address Where My Ancestor Lived in 1940

To locate your ancestor in the 1940 Census, you need a name index or you need to know the Enumeration District where your ancestor lived.

Check the 1940 Census Status Map to see if the state where your ancestor lived has been indexed. 

If the state index has not yet been completed, find your ancestor in a city directory to locate an address.  Then, determine the correct Enumeration District number for the address. 

Follow these steps to locate a street address for your ancestor: 

Step 1 Locate Your Ancestor in a City Directory

Your ancestor may be listed in a city directory. A city directory is an alphabetical listing of residents and their street addresses in a city or town.

City directories online:

City directories not online can be found at:

More information about City Directories

Telephone Books - a substitute
Some larger cities stopped producing city directories by 1940 and instead created telephone books. Unfortunately, only a portion of the residents had telephones.

Cities with 1940 telephone books:

If there is no city directory available for the city or town you are searching, use a substitute source to locate an address.

Step 2 Use SteveMorse.org to Determine the Enumeration District

  • Use the drop down lists to choose the state, county, and city or town where your ancestor lived.
  • Fill in the street address of your ancestor.  If the "number" and "address" fields are crossed out, this indicates the website does not have a street index for your city or town. This requires a different search.

Step 3 Find the Cross Streets for Your Ancestor's Address

  • Determine cross streets for your ancestor's address by clicking on "See Map" which opens a new tab in your internet browser and maps your ancestor's address.
  • Review the map looking for large cross streets around your ancestor's street address.
  • Once you have determined a cross street, click on the tab to SteveMorse.org's website. Choose a street from the drop down menu next to "Cross or back street on same city block."
  • If the cross street option has not appeared on the page, you need to add a street address as described in Step 2.
  • Click on the Enumeration District number listed making sure the box directly below is checked for "1940 Census Pages."
  • A new tab will appear. Under "Select the viewer you want to use," click on "FamilySearch Viewer."  This will take you to the 1940 Census digital images on the FamilySearch.org website.

Step 4 Use FamilySearch.org to Browse the Images

  • On the FamilySearch.org website, you will see a description of the Enumeration District you located. Click on this link to take you to the census images.
  • You may see a card listing the Enumeration District number instead of the actual census image. In the top right corner, click on the arrow to advance to the next page. Advance in this manner until you see a 1940 Census page.
  • Search column 1 to locate the name of the street. It is written sideways. If the street is not listed on this page, click on the arrow to see the next census page in the Enumeration District.
  • Continue searching each page until you locate the correct street.  
  • Once you locate the correct street, look for the house number in column 2.
  • Once you locate the correct house number, your ancestor should be listed in the household. If your ancestor is not listed at the address, your ancestor may have moved between 1930 and 1940. Search for your ancestor in other records created in or near 1940 to locate the correct address.

I Can't Locate My Street in this Enumeration District

There are several reasons why you may not locate your street in the the Enumeration District:

  • Incorrect Mapping of the Street Address - The mapping website may have incorrectly mapped the address. Use a different mapping website such as:
  • Incorrect Street Address Chosen - Reassess the street name to make sure you have the right street chosen from the dropdown list in Step 2. Streets listing north, south, east, and west may be mis-represented.
  • Street Name Changes - The street your ancestor lived on may have changed names since 1940.

My Ancestor Wasn't Living at the City Directory Address

  • Your ancestor may have moved between the time the city directory was taken and April 1940. Search for your ancestor in another record created close to 1940 to locate another address. Other records.LINK