Monday, September 10, 2012

Latest Census Information Released 1940 --- Find Your Family

The Census Department released individual records obtained in its 1940 Census. This was the first time that a random sample of the U.S. population was asked new questions in addition to standard questions (name, age, gender, race and education). Some of the new questions included: place of birth of one’s parents, mother tongue, veteran status, occupation, industry and the class of worker, whether or not there were Social Security deductions made from wages, and for all women who had been married more than once age at first marriage.

The Great Depression effects were measured by the questions asked in 1940. One’s income, highest level of school completed, and unemployment history were among those questions that were asked.

There were a total of 34 questions asked of all households and an additional 16 asked of the one in 20 sample.

The 1940 Census enumerators were told to visit every house, building, tent, cabin, hut or place where a person might be living. Publicity was by radio and newspapers as well as civic organizations. Results were in printed reports and state bulletins.

The Census is available online at: or at The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) which holds Census documents has a Boston office located at 380 Trapelo Road in Waltham. Their email address is: There is a toll free number: (866) 406-2379 and a local number (781) 613-0144.

The State Library invites you to view the materials on line in room 341 or room 442 on Mondays through Fridays from 9 am to 5 pm.