Sunday, April 29, 2012

1940 Census-Who cares?

This is a report on the progress on indexing the 1940 census as of 24 of April from FamilySearch:

1940 US Census Indexing Report—April 24, 2012

We’re half way into our 4th week of indexing the 1940 US Census and we’re making excellent progress. As of April 24th we have the following statistics to report:
  •  So far 18.9% of the entire project has been completely indexed.
  • We have 83,795 indexers and arbitrators working to index and arbitrate the census records.
  • Five new states have been indexed and are being processed in preparation for posting on They include: Colorado, Delaware, Kansas, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Utah.
  • The Delaware index has been posted on and is available for searching.
  • An additional eight states are 90% or more indexed. They include: Alaska (98%), Arizona (95%), Florida (93%), Idaho (99%), Nevada (99%), Vermont (92%), Virginia (99%), and Wyoming (98%). To see the status of each state, visit the page.
  • A total of more than 26 million records have been indexed and arbitrated to date.
We continue to see new people signing up to be indexers and arbitrators. In the last 4 days we’ve added nearly 8,000 new indexers.  That’s remarkable! With our numbers growing and with each of our indexers and arbitrators getting more experience under their belts, we are finding that each day we outperform the previous day’s work. This is great to see this kind of excitement. As we’ve said before, please tell your friends and neighbors about your indexing experiences. Show them how they can be involved.

Thank you for joining this effort to index the 1940 US Census. It’s good to see so many people enjoying themselves as they give of their time to help the entire community by indexing this valuable collection of American records. (end of Quote from

What does it matter that there is such excitement and what does it mean for the future of research and records availability? It is a clear indication that there is a broad interest in making records available at no cost! That does not imply that there are no costs, just that those cost are not passed on to those who will get the benefits of a free product! This is not the only example of such cooperation resulting in a good product and free to search. The 1880 Census index, Ellis Island and cemetery records are other fine examples. We heartily endorse these efforts and encourage many more. Some States, such as Illinois, are indexing their Vital Records and making them available. However, there are still States that have made their records private and thus only available to close family members with a fee! Pressure must be placed by citizens of those States on their legislators to change this archaic practice and open their records!

We congratulate all organizations and individuals who are promoting, in any way, free access to records!

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