Thanks to the New York Post, I discovered an interesting database that the New York Public Library has been preparing to help people search the 1940 New York City census records. These federal records do not yet have a name index and need to be searched by enumeration district. You can use the links I’ve listed below — once you can get into the records.
But first a word from the National Archives…. “We apologize for the problems you have encountered with the 1940 census web site and share your frustration. We have seen extraordinary demand for the 1940 census records, with over 37 million hits since 9:00 a.m. on 4/2/12.
“We are making updates to the 1940 census website to better accommodate users and expect to see improved performance over the next several hours. While these changes take place, you can still use many of the useful features built into the website (search for enumeration districts, bookmark results, etc).
“In the meantime, you may wish to search the enumeration district maps and descriptions to locate enumeration district numbers in our online search system:
- Locate enumeration district numbers in our online search system
- Use the search terms: 1940 census [state] [county]
(for example 1940 census Pennsylvania montgomery county)
We appreciate your patience as enhancements are underway.”
With the release of something this big, a crash was probably inevitable, no matter how well prepared you think you are. Have you ever tried getting into Ancestry.com right after an episode of “Who Do You Think You Are?” finishing airing. It’s probably not happening. Now think how much more massive this release is. Just be patient.
No apologies needed from the New York Public Library. These librarians thought ahead and found a solution to the enumeration district problem. They have been involved in a project to make the 1940 telephone directories available in the context of this 1940 census release. This allows people to find a New York City address through a name search. Kudos to to the New York Public. This is a nice work around. No matter where you live now, you can search for relatives who may have lived in any of New York’s five boroughs in 1940. Just click on Direct Me NYC to get started. You also might find the comments listed underneath of interest. The library has also put together a set of FAQs that should be of use to everyone dealing with the census and the enumeration districts. Click Using the 1940 Census FAQsfor access. If you have other related questions on searching your family history in New York click on the New York Public Library’s Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History, Local History.
Also no apologies needed from the every ready Steve Morse. Need more help with enumeration districts, especially those located outside New York City? Another well known name in genealogy is Steve Morse. He, as always, has prepared ahead. Take a look at Steve Morse’s Unified 1940 Census Enumeration District Finder.
Good luck! And please feel free to leave a comment and let me know how your search is going.