Find your ancestors in the online 1940 US census using this step-by-step guide.
Our ancestors would be amazed at the hoopla surrounding the recent public unveiling of the 1940 US census following the expiration of the 72-year privacy period. Back in 1940, after all, they had more exciting things going on—good and bad—than the census: war in Europe, the lingering Great Depression, a presidential election. Today, that enumeration opens a window into your family’s history. In addition to genealogical clues, you’ll learn how many weeks your parents or grandparents worked the prior year, how much rent they paid, what the family’s income was and more. The census asked everyone 34 questions, and asked another 15 questions of a random 5 percent of the population whose names fell on lines 14 and 29 of each sheet.