So far this morning, we’re hearing from a lot of disappointed folks on Facebook and Twitter who aren’t able to get record images to load for the 1940 census.
I’m in the same boat, but I took some screen shots from the site to show you how 1940Census.Archives.gov works:
The home page looks like this:
Click Get Started, then scroll down a little and you get three choices:
Search by location; search by enumeration district (ED), which also lets you convert the 1930 ED to the 1940 one; or access Help features (FAQs, etc.)
Search by ED
If you know the ED, look at the middle option, choose the state and type in the ED.
The result will show you the description of the boundaries for that ED.
You could click the maps tab to see the ED on a map, or click the Census Schedule tab to see the available schedules for that district.
Click on the census schedule thumbnail to see the pages for that district (theoretically—they never loaded for me) and browse through them for your family.
If you hover over the thumbnail image, you get an option to download images, which some say works better, but the images never downloaded for me.
Search by location
If you know your family’s location, but not the ED, look under “Do you know where the person lived?” and click Start Your Search.
On the left side of the next page, choose the state, county, city and street, if you know it.
Your results will show descriptions of EDs covering that area.
You can view the descriptions and choose the one you think has your ancestor’s household (use the Maps tab to see them on a map), or click the Census Schedules tab to start going through the schedules.
It’s pretty frustrating to wait and wait for census images to load, espcially after all the hype, but honestly I’m not surprised.
I’m going to try again in another couple of hours (or maybe tomorrow, depending how the day goes). While you’re waiting, visit Family Tree Magazine’s 1940 census page to formulate your research game plan and learn how to find those enumeration districts.