Apr 26

Getting Ready for the 1940 Census

It is almost time! The 1940 U.S. Population Schedule will be released in a little under one year (April 2012). In order to use the new record well, we need to study the parameters of the record as well as finding aids that will be available for us.

Did you know that the National Archives website has all of that information ready for our use as well as a blank copy of the 1940 census form? I’m using the information to begin constructing my research plan. What do I need to know before I tackle the records?

  • Who do I expect to find?
  • Where does each individual or family reside?
  • What is the enumeration district in which they reside?

My plan for locating my son’s paternal grandparents will contain the following:

Parents: Anthony and Loretta (Curran) Lorusso
Children: Nicholas, Shirley, Anthony, Peter, and Barbara
Address: 24 Orton Street, Worcester (Worcester County), Massachusetts
Note: Anthony and Loretta were married shortly after the 1930 census, so are not listed in a household together at that time. However, their sons  Nicholas and Anthony both told me that they had always lived at 24 Orton Street. I will need to explore the National Archives microfilm T1224 (Descriptions of Census Enumeration Districts, 1830-1950) to learn the number of the enumeration district.

Anthony Lorusso’s parents, Nichola and Antoinette resided at 606 Franklin Street, Worcester, in 1930. Since they were still living in 1940, I expect to find them at the same address. In 1930, 615 Franklin Street was in enumeration district 14-58 (the 14 represents Worcester County). In 1920, the family had resided at 606 Franklin Street, enumeration District 246. It is unknown whether the family physically moved between the 1920 and 1930 census or whether the street numbers were changed.

Stephen P. Morse (with Drs. Joel Weintraub and David Kehs) has a splendid tool called “Converting between 1920 and 1930 (or 1930 and 1940) Census EDs in One Step.” Using this conversion tool, if Nichola Lorusso resided in ED 14-58 in 1930, then I expect to find him in one of these three enumeration districts in 1940: 23-79, 23-80, or 23-81.

It will take a little work, but I expect to be successful!

© Linda Woodward Geiger. All Rights Reserved


Permanent link to this article: http://www.musingsbylinda.com/MyFamily/?p=219

1 comment

  1. Joel Weintraub

    You probably got our conversion tool information from the NARA website that discusses preparing for the 1940 census. What you didn’t do, is look at the next part of their website (part 3) which discusses finder aids. Our conversion tool is only one of 5 tools we have for searching the 1940 census, and if you have an address in 1940, it is the least efficient.

    If you had used our:
    and picked 1940, and Massachusetts, and Worcester…. you would have found that your 24 Orton address is in 23-87 ED #, and 606 Franklin is in 23-80 for 1940. It took me, maybe, 5 minutes to find these two.

    We are trying to alert the genealogy community that we have more than one ED finder tool, and the conversion tool should be used only for very specific situations. See our overview essay at:
    and please help spread the word.

    Joel Weintraub

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