Indexing Volunteers Needed


On April 2, 2012, NARA released the digital images of the 1940 Unites States Federal Census after a 72 year embargo. These census images will be uploaded and made available on,, National Archives, and

Additionally, the entire 1940 census will be indexed by a community of volunteers and made available for free. The free index of the 1940 US census records and corresponding images will be available to the public for perpetuity.

I've actually been indexing for a few years now, but have recently been focusing those efforts on the newly released 1940 census since the need for volunteers to complete this project is in high demand.  Indexing is very easy to accomplish and something anyone can do.  It doesn't require a ton of time and is something that the entire family can participate in.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with indexing and census records let me give you a brief run down.  

When you begin indexing you are given a single census record image to index.  The image below is an example of what a census record from 1940 would look like.

Then you simply enter the information found on that image.  It's really as easy as that.  There is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to distinguishing the penmanship from back in the day so some mistakes are obviously made, however each census batch is indexed by two people which helps eliminate those simple errors.

If family history is something you would like to get involved with then indexing is really the place to start.  Becoming familiar with census records and learning how to read them is essential in searching out family ancestors.  To get started simply visit one of these two sites.  Family or The 1940 Census.

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