Tuesday, March 20, 2012

1940 Census Indexing - Your Opportunity to Contribute

In about two weeks the companies sponsoring the release of the 1940 Census will make available to us not only the opportunity to view this fantastic collection of records, but also the chance to personally participate in the indexing of that collection. For a little background on what this collection means to us as genealogical researchers, let us become aware of these support companies.

The National Archives is releasing the 1940 Census on April 2, 2012.
This will be the first time census records have been released in digitized format free-of-charge for everyone to view. In the past you had to order microfilms from NARA or other companies. Ancestry.com and Heritagequest.com have digitized many of the Federal Census records. These web sites are subscription-based, but access is free-of-charge and unlimited from any National Archives facility and some other research facilities.
For the countdown clock, which at this moment is 12 days, 22 hours, 31 minutes and 40 seconds and quickly racing to the April 2 release and where the digitized records will be found go to: 1940census.archives.gov

Archives.com is hosting all the digitized images on their servers. All of the links to the 1940 Census will be routed through their company. Their information on this census release can be found at: http://www.archives.com/1940census

Familysearch.org: This website is sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and supported as a non-denominational research tool in genealogical research. In the recent past they have worked diligently to post the US Census records online and in some cases with completely new indexing than found in the past. For the 1940 Census they are a partner in the indexing of the records, which index will be available free-of-charge to everyone. This indexing program is in need of many individuals who are willing to donate whatever time they can to quickly get this record set indexed. They have set up administrators by groups which can be found by states on their website.

For Oregon the following groups have registered with an administrator:
Bend Genealogical Society - link
Blue Mountain Genealogical Society - link
Clatsop County Genealogical Society - link
Columbia Gorge Genealogical Society - link
Cottage Grove Genealogical Society - link
Genealogical Council of Oregon - link, administrator Susan LeBlanc
Genealogical Society of Douglas County - link
Jewish Genealogical Society of Willamette Valley - link
Lebanon Genealogical Society - not linked
Lincoln County Genealogical Society - link
Linn County Genealogical Society - link
Oregon Genealogical Society - link
Oregon Historical Society - link
Oregon Sivslaw Genealogical Society - not linked
Rouge Valley Genealogical Society - link
Sweet Home Genealogical Society - link
Willamette Valley Genealogical Society and Oregon State Library - Link

Of these seventeen societies, I of course would love to work with you in the GCO group, but regardless I encourage you to sign up with one of them to speed up the work of indexing the 1940 Census for Oregon. Even if you just work on one page a day, it will be a great personal contribution. They have a simulated page for practice, and by the time I finished I found I really enjoyed this work.
Register now, so you can practice and are ready to begin as soon as the pages are available. Go to: https://www.familysearch.org/volunteer/indexing

When you register there will be a drop down box where you can select a group to participate with. There will actually be prizes and incentives for your group's participation.

Findmypast.com - is the third partner of this group that will quickly publish a searchable, high quality name index to the 1940 U.S. Census after it is released. While their previous record collections were based more in U.K. records, they are taking on a more visible presence in the U.S. They also have a count down clock, which is about three days ahead of the NARA clock. Maybe it is based on U.K. Time. Be sure to sign up for their email updates on the release of the 1940 Census.
For more information about them go to: http://www.findmypast.com/

One other resource for the 1940 Census release is the U.S. Census Bureau. They provide statistical information and can be found at: http://www.census.gov/
From their tables we should have about 1,086,000 names to be indexed for Oregon and 131,954,000 names for the United States.

Keep checking in for updates in the progress of the release and indexing projects. Remember in doing genealogy there can be many blessings in sharing in the efforts to make records free-of-charge to everyone. Your support is encouraged, appreciated and will be very rewarding.

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