20 March 2012

The 1940 Census Indexing Project NEEDS YOU!


NGS is one of many genealogical societies participating in the 1940 Census indexing project with FamilySearch so the 1940 census images and index can be available to the public for free. The National Genealogical Society is pleased to be supporting this project so the 1940 Census index and images can be made available to the public for free. The 1940 census images will be released by the National Archives on Monday, 2 April 2012 at 9:00 a.m. E.D.T.

If you are interesting in volunteering on behalf of NGS, go to https://the1940census.com/society and click on "get started." If you don't already have an account with FamilySearch, you will need to create an account (user name and password). Select "National Genealogical Society" on the profile screen. Download the indexing software provided by FamilySearch. The file is large, so it may take a few minutes depending upon the speed of your Internet provider. The software will automatically create a "FamilySearch Indexing" icon on your desktop. You will click on the icon every time you are ready to index a page or two. If you experience any difficulty or have questions, the FamilySearch help line is 1-855-439-1940. FamilySearch will notify the NGS project administrator, Jan Alpert, that you have registered as a volunteer. She may also be contacted at volunteer@ngsgenealogy.org.

After April 2 you will be able to download a batch of census records to index anytime 24 hours a day. You will be able to select the state to index but not the county, since you will have access to the next page available. A page is estimated to take 30-45 minutes to index. You can index as many records as is practical for your personal schedule. Once you type up the index for a page of census records, you will submit the records back to FamilySearch. Each page is entered by two different people and compared. Arbitrators resolve any differences. Once a state is completely indexed, FamilySearch will make that state index and images available to the public on their website: www.FamilySearch.org.

While we wait for the 1940 Census to become available in April, you can practice by indexing other records available by clicking on the "FamilySearch Indexing Icon" once you have downloaded it. Some of the practice indexing projects include state records similar to the 1940 census:
  • Iowa State Census, 1895
  • New Jersey 1905 State Census
  • New York 1875 State Census
  • Ohio Tax Records, 1800–1850, pt. 5
  • Texas, County Tax Rolls, 1837–1910
Log into the indexing software to access these projects and others.


The following link https://the1940census.com/resources/enum_instructions/ will take you to the 1940 enumerator's instructions, so you can see the questions asked on the 1940 census. Reading and becoming familiar with the census questions and abbreviations will help prepare you to do indexing.
There are also some upcoming webinars available which will walk you through the census indexing project:
Webinar Schedule (classes begin at 6:00 pm MST):
  • To join a webinar:
    1. Fifteen minutes before the webinar start time, click the date or go to go to http://meetingplace.ldschurch.org and enter the Meeting ID and click the “Attend Meeting” button.
    2. Follow the prompts to enter the Meeting ID and join the meeting
  • To Attend the Conference Without Using your Computer:
    1. Dial into 801-240-2663 (Local/International) or 877-453-7266 (US Toll-free)
    2. Sign in as Guest
    3. Select the desired “Connect Me” options and enter the phone number that you want MeetingPlace to call you at
    4. Click the Connect button
  • Intro to Indexing
  • Meeting ID: 6310
  • Click to start Webinar
    1. Tuesday – March 20, 2012
    2. Tuesday – March 27, 2012
  • Tips & Tricks for Indexing the 1940 Census
  • Meeting ID: 8496
  • Click to start Webinar
    1. Wednesday – April 18, 2012
    2. Wednesday – April 25, 2012
    3. Wednesday – May 2, 2012
Again, thank you for volunteering to be an indexer.

Jan Alpert
NGS Past President & NGS Project Administrator for 1940 Census Indexing





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