Sunday, March 11, 2012

Plan to Attend 1940 Census Celebration on March 25 in Lincoln

Tracing one's family history is hotter than ever right now. Much of that is due to the popularity of television programs such as NBC's Who Do You Think You Are and Faces of America on PBS. It's not just celebrities who can trace their roots - anyone can learn how to find their ancestors.

On April 2, 2012, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) will provide free online access to the digital images from the 1940 census for the first time. Beginning genealogists can jump start their research by looking at images from the 1940 census. Census records are not released until 72 years after the census takers went door to door to find out information about American households. Genealogists may find themselves, their parents or grandparents shown in the 1940 census records.

Locally, the Lincoln-Lancaster County Genealogical Society (LLCGS) is hosting a 1940 Census Celebration kick-off event on Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 1:30 p.m. at Walt Branch Library, 6701 South 14th Street, Lincoln. The featured speaker will be Lori-Cox Paul, director of Archival Operations at the National Archives in Kansas City. She will talk about the release of the census records and what individuals can do to help index the records to make them searchable by family history researchers. She will also share tips on how to browse the images before the indexing project is complete by knowing the census enumeration districts to look in.

The 1940 Census Celebration will feature music of the 1940s, exhibits and memorabilia. The event is being co-sponsored by the Nebraska State Historical Society.

Among the types of information included in the 1940 Census records are the names of each person living in a household, the street address, if the home was owned or rented, the value of the home, age at last birthday, occupation, marital status, place of birth, education level completed, birth place of the father and mother and many other tidbits of information. This information becomes a gold mine for the genealogists as a way to find clues to connect one generation to the next.

All LLCGS monthly programs are free and open to the public. For more information contact Judi Cook, Program Chair, 402.483.1239 or visit the LLCGS web site.

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