Genealogists and Historians are Celebrating! The 1940 Census Records are Here!

Today, after 72 years of waiting, the 1940 U.S. census has been released by the National Archives and Records Administration. Hooray!

At 9:00 am this morning, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) began rolling out the census records for the "Greatest Generation" online. As these records will show, 132 million people were living in the 48 Continental United States in 1940. Tens of millions of people living in the United States in 1940 are still living today, making this a record set that connects people with recent family records. The 1940 census included several standard questions, such as: name, age, gender, race, education, and place of birth. The 1940 census also introduced some new questions. One example is that the enumerator was instructed to mark (with a circled x) who in the household responded to the census questions. Other questions included whether the person worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps, Works Project Administration, or National Youth Administration the week of March 24-30, 1940, and the income for the 12 months ending December 31, 1939.

These census images will be uploaded and made available on a multitude of websites, including the big genealogy players Ancestry.com, Archives.com, FindMyPast.com, and FamilySearch.org. Don't expect images to be readily searchable by name -- a community of eager volunteer indexers will work to make that possible. A wealth of information about this census can be found at Ancestry.com. Anyone interested in volunteering to index this census may find information here.

Interested in searching for your family history but not sure where to begin? Check out our library's collection of genealogy materials to get yourself started, try your hand at one of our genealogy research databases, or explore some of our recommended genealogy select sites.

P. S. Wondering why this is happening today? Because of The 72 Year Rule: The U.S. government will not release personally identifiable information about an individual to any other individual or agency until 72 years after it is collected for the decennial census. This "72-Year Rule" (92 Stat. 915; Public Law 95-416; October 5, 1978) restricts access to decennial census records to all but the individual named on the record or their legal heir. The census date was April 1, 1940. This means that the census records for 1950 will not be released to the public until April 1, 2022.

Grandma Helen, 1942Grandma Helen, 1942

Ancestry Library Edition: Gold Mine for Genealogists

Discover more about your family history by accessing the Ancestry Library Edition database. This huge database taps into a wide array of sources, including census reports, birth & death records, and immigration records. Expand on what you already know about your ancestors by locating newspaper articles, yearbook photos, and much more.

Whether your forebears are from North America, the UK, Europe, Australia, or somewhere else, it's worth looking for information here. Current featured data collections are
Australian Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980 and United States Indian Census Rolls, 1885-1940.

To access Ancestry Library Edition, you must be inside an Ann Arbor District library -- Downtown, West, Pittsfield, Traverwood, or Mallets Creek. Have fun finding information on your ancestors!

October is National Family History Month!

We are celebrating Family History Month by offering two classes in genealogy.

Getting the Most Out of FamilySearch.org | Tuesday | October 11 | 7 pm | Pittsfield Branch

A Genealogist's Best Friend - The Library | Wednesday | October 26 | 3:30 pm | Downtown Library

The classes will be instructed by Bobbie Snow, genealogy lecturer and longtime member of the Genealogical Society of Washtenaw County. Registration is not required and classes are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Classrooms will open 15 minutes before the class begins. Click here for the complete class schedule.

If you're interested in genealogy, you may enjoy The Complete Beginner's Guide To Genealogy, The Internet, And Your Genealogy Computer Program by Karen Clifford.

It's Orange!

The October and November computer class schedule is ready! Review the schedule online, pick up a brochure at any library location, or call 734-327-4555 for more information.

There are a few new classes:
A Genealogist's Best Friend - The Library: Learn from Bobbie Snow, of the Genealogical Society of Washtenaw County, how to use your local library and online libraries in your genealogy research.
Wednesday, October 26, 3:30 - 5:30 pm Downtown

Getting the Most Out of FamilySearch.org: Bobbie Snow will show you how to use FamilySearch.org to access over 100 years of genealogical records.
Tuesday, October 11, 7 - 9 pm at Pittsfield

Advanced Excel: Practice with drop-down lists, lookup , pivot tables, and more.
Monday, November 28, 7 - 9 pm Downtown

Etsy: Back by popular demand, Kate Kehoe (chicalookate), will talk about the online marketplace where folks buy/sell handmade creations, craft supplies, and vintage items.
Tuesday, October 4, 7 - 9 pm at Traverwood
Wednesday, November 9, 3:30 - 5:30 pm Downtown

Classes are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Classrooms will open 15 minutes before the class start times. Registration is not required.

See you in class!

Heritage Quest: Benjamin Franklin as a Genealogist by John W. Jordan

Benjamin Franklin Family TreeBenjamin Franklin Family TreeIn 1899, John Woolf Jordan (historian and genealogy writer of the late 1800's and early 1900's) wrote an article for the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography titled, “Franklin as a Genealogist”. Mr. Jordan obtained original letters and records and wrote about Benjamin Franklin’s genealogical quest. Benjamin Franklin investigated his family line and created what Mr. Jordan referred to as a pedigree (a family tree, a portion of Benjamin Franklin's pedigree is displayed in the blog photo). You too can see the original documents (some in Benjamin Franklin’s own hand) using the Heritage Quest research database.

The Heritage Quest database (available @ AADL) has documents imaged from the 1790 - 1930 U.S. federal censuses and images from over 20,000 book titles, including family and local histories. To access the Heritage Quest database from home, simply login to your online library account. You can search census data, books and local histories, revolutionary war pension and bounty-land-warrant application files, Freedman's Bank documents, and Serial Set documents. I searched for books about Ann Arbor and found several, including: Polk's Ann Arbor City Directory,1915 and the Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Washtenaw County Directory, 1888-9.

Genealogy Research

ResearchResearch

Celebrate Family History Month! Join Bobbie Snow, genealogy lecturer and teacher and long-time member of the Genealogical Society of Washtenaw County, to learn how to use two genealogy databases offered by the Ann Arbor District Library: Ancestry.com (Library Edition) and Heritage Quest.

Wednesday, October 13th from 7:00 to 9:00 PM at the Malletts Creek branch.

Classes are filled on a first-come, first-served basis and the classrooms will open 15 minutes before the class. Registration is not required. See you in class!

Beginning Genealogy

Ever wondered about your family history? Find out about the many genealogical resources available and how to use them this Thursday, May 12, at the Genealogy for Beginners class. This class will be held at the Pittsfield Branch of AADL, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Our staff will show how to use several genealogy databases and databases, including Ancestry and HeritageQuest, provide tips for getting started, and answer your beginning genealogy questions. If you have never conducted genealogical research before and want to know how to get started, then this is the class for you.

Preserving Your Photographic Heritage

Photo Restoration

How can you preserve and protect precious photographs so that memories may last for future generations? Learn how to protect your personal mementos with local experts. Dianna Samuelson of the Bentley Historical Library will explain how to preserve and restore photographs, while George Borel Jr. of Huron Camera Shop will give information on what can be done digitally to repair photos. Get a head start by checking out these books on photography and some on digital preservation.

Join us Wednesday January 13, 2010: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm at the Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room for Preserving Your Photographic Heritage.

Let's Fill in the Family Tree

familytreefamilytree

The experts from the Genealogical Society of Washtenaw County will be on hand Sunday, Sept. 20, 2:00 ~ 3:30 p.m., at the Traverwood Branch to help you with your family history research. Following a short presentation on the resources available to you at the GSWC Library and the Ann Arbor District Library including Ancestry Library Edition and HeritageQuest, society members will work one-on-one with you whatever stage you're at in your quest to fill in the family tree.

Keys to Unlocking Family Histories in Europe

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Noted Genealogist Ceil Wendt Jensen will be in Ann Arbor Sunday, April 26, 1:30 p.m. at the Education Center on the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital campus to present Strategies for Locating Ancestral Villages sponsored by the Genealogical Society of Washtenaw County. You don't have to travel to Europe to unlock the past, there are plenty of print and online sources available in the U.S. to help you in your quest and Ms. Jensen will discuss and demonstrate these valuable resources. The lecture is free and open to the public.

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