Tag Archive: Urban Dwellers

May 01

Urban Ancestors: Obtaining EDs for the 1940 Census in One Step

As you will notice, as of this date, the National Archives website provides five topics for the 1940 census: 1) General Information, 2) How to Start Your 1940 Census Research, 3) Indexes and Other Finding Aids, 4) Videos, and 5) Informative Articles and Online Data.

True confessions—When I discussed a process of finding urban families in my post dated the 26th of April I was hasty. I had not explored all of the avenues and suggestions on the National Archives website. Fortunately, Dr. Joel Weintraub noticed my shortcoming and he took the time to comment on that post and offer an easier alternative. The strategy that I had offered was based on suggestions offered in section 2, “How to Start Your 1940 Census Research.” So, like any good student, I went back to the drawing board and looked at all of the offerings on the National Archives website.

My goal is to find the families of 1) Nicholas Lorusso, residing in Worcester, Massachusetts, probably at 615 or 606 Franklin Street, and 2) Anthony Lorusso residing at 24 Orton Street.

“Indexes and Other Finding Aids”

Let’s zero in on the alternative, “Find Census Enumeration District Numbers” using Stephen P. Morse’s 1940 Search Engines”



Using “Obtaining EDs for the 1940 Census in One Step,” by Morse, Weintraub and Kehs,  I filled in the blanks as indicated below, I very quickly received the ED for 24 Orton Street, Worcester, Massachusetts.

I used the same procedure to obtain the 1940 ED for the address of for Franklin Street in Worcester. This was did not go quite as quickly—Orton St. is a short road (unpaved in 1970), but Franklin St. is a major artery in the city of Worcester encompassing ten EDs in 1940. Locating an intersecting street near 606 Franklin (Google maps quickly provided a couple of options: Putnam Lane and Villanova St. In 1940 Villanova St. was called “Villa Nova.”

By the way, the 1910-1940 Census in One Step also provides NARA microfilm series and reel number.

Most readers will be familiar with the wonderful website, One-Step Webpapes by  Steve Morse. The image below shows the current finding-aids available for the U.S population schedules for 1790–1940.

© Linda Woodward Geiger. All Rights Reserved


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