Each decade of census data is released 72 years after its creation and the 1940 census has been eagerly anticipated with its never-before-asked questions about wages and income, home value and rent paid and even which homes had radios and flush toilets!
Census data is important to genealogists for the information it provides about our ancestors. It can help establish migration patterns, who family members were, and depending on the questions asked during a particular year’s census, whether military service was performed, type of occupation, whether a home was owned or rented, value of personal property, whether the head of household was married and how long and much more.
Genealogists use this information to help discover and trace their family roots and document their history. It’s truly exciting to view a census and discover that an ancestor is in the same line of work as you or that you live in the same neighborhood that your grandfather grew up in as a child.
Although the 1940 Census was released today at 9 a.m. EST, it will be weeks or even months before all 3.6 million images of the entire document are uploaded and indexed for researching. But it’s still exciting for genealogists to know that it’s just a matter of time before we have access to new information that could potentially help break through the brick walls of unanswered questions that have been haunting us.