Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Finally Here ... the 1940 Census

Anxiously I waited Monday morning, like millions (apparently) of others, for the release of the 1940 US Census.  I had told students and genealogy friends in the last ten years to say healthy, eat their Wheaties and they would be able to use the census.  There I was parked in front of the computer, healthy and ready for ... nothing.

Apparently they underestimated the number of people who would access the census. The server crashed.  Wasn't that expected?  I recall the same thing happening in 1999 when FamilySearch went public.  Over and over I tried with only minor flashes of what might have been a frame of census on my computer.  By afternoon I drifted over to where I was able to find some extremely distant cousins in Indiana ... and I pretended to be excited about them!

Throughout the day, You Go Genealogy Girl #2 and I would talk on the phone and exchange e-mails.  You should realize she's a devoted genealogist to get up that early in the morning.  I'm so proud of her.  I used Steve Morse's web site and she did also, in hopes we would be prepared for those images.  Eventually I was able to get images I wanted for North Carolina and Tennessee.  I looked at neighbors along the roads and it was a great walk back in time to my grandparents' house.

Aunt Lavaughn is a railroad brakeman!
Since Monday I have been using mostly and  Occasionally I have viewed images on FamilySearch.   I am not concerned at this point about the indexing.  It has been fun going through pages of images and looking at enumeration districts, piecing together the landscape.  In time those indexes will make searching much easier and faster.

Yesterday afternoon You Go Genealogy Girl #2 called to see if I had noticed our Aunt Lavaughn had an occupation in 1940.  She was living with her husband and young son in her parents' house in Alliance, Box Butte Co., Nebraska.  All along I was slinging blame at the National Archives and, but now I realize that everybody makes mistakes.  The enumerator didn't skip a line so Aunt Lavaughn was a brakeman on the steam railroad.  How exciting for her, but not true!!

We hope you are all enjoying your journey in 1940.

You Go Genealogy Girl #1 --- Ruby

1 comment:

  1. You would think they would have been prepared for all the hits on the servers wouldn't you? I read somewhere that one of the hosting sites had 100 servers and had increased it to 170. It took me about five minutes last night to find the two great-uncles I was checking on using the Steve Morse site.



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