06 May 2012

1940 U.S. Census: Help! I'm in the Bronx and I can't get out!

I've been indexing the 1940 U.S. Census for more than a month now and, while I should have anticipated this, I can't get out of the Bronx.  New York was the most populous state in 1940 with 1,394,711 people. Interestingly, the Bronx, as of the 2010 U.S. Census had fewer people (1,385,108) than in 1940.

Before Family Search had New York records available to index, I did do one Kansas record and a Kentucky record. But, as soon New York State went online, I was happily indexing Albany and then Allegany counties (FamilySearch seems to be uploading these things for indexing alphabetically by county).

Then on April 10th, the Bronx started. We indexers are only 5% of the way into New York State and only up to Enumeration District (ED) 706 (out of more than 1300 EDs) in the Bronx.

I check the indexing progress map almost daily. Delaware, Colorado and Kansas (darn it!) are already indexed and the indices are online.  Arizona, Nevada, Vermont, New Hampshire, Oregon, Alaska, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Florida, and Virginia are close behind. Even California, which in the intervening years stole top (population) dog status from New York, is 39% indexed.

But, here I am slogging through Jewish names (which I can ably handle) and Italian names (which have cornered the market on vowels) to try to get myself out of the Bronx and back to Smiths and Joneses in Broome county. I actually have some 1940s Bronx relatives, but, not surprisingly, I've not come across them while indexing.

I'm sure people will help pick up the New York State slack once their pet states are indexed and they're standing around with their thumbs in their belt loops trying to remember what they did before the indexing project started.  After all, if it weren't for me, Kansas wouldn't be over the top!


  1. You captured my feelings exactly :-) ... Every time I request a new NY batch, keep hoping to see Brooklyn for a sign of progress - but no, it's STILL the Bronx!

    After seeing 400, 500, 600 enumeration districts, thought the end had to be near... so thanks for sharing that the Bronx finish line is 1300+ ... Time to go do another batch!

  2. Glad to hear I'm not the only one! But since the counties are alphabetical, you'll have a while to see Kings (aka Brooklyn). I'm hoping it won't be another month before Bronx County gives way to Broome.


Comments on posts are always welcome but will be approved before posting. I actually prefer to just let people comment without going through this rigmarole, but I've recently had to delete some posts that I had not vetted before publication. So, please don't be offended. I love to hear from you!