Wednesday, January 25, 2012

January 2012 Meeting Rewind

If you missed our first meeting of 2012, you missed a couple of great presentations by 1940 census expert Joel Weintraub!

Mr. Weintraub chats with members before the meeting begins.

First up, Mr. Weintraub led the Research Class in What's in the 1940 Census? which looked at what we can expect to find when the 1940 census is finally released in April 2012.

This blogger was thrilled to learn that one of the questions on the 1940 census was, "Where were you in 1935?" According to Mr. Weintraub, so many people were in transition in 1940 due to WWII and the "Dust Bowl" in the midwest, that many people had moved since the 1930 census. This question was to help track those migrations. Almost as good as having a 5-year census!

Be sure to get your tickets for some great drawing prizes!

After a short business meeting and some tasty snacks, it was time for the main program. Mr. Weintraub's talk was titled Here Comes the 1940 Census and We ARE Ready!! and he spoke to a packed house - over 100 people showed up to hear his talk!

The house was packed - over 100 people!

Some interesting tidbits about the 1940 census:
  • The 1940 census has 40 entry lines. 100% of respondents were asked all 40 questions; about 5% of respondents (about 2 people per page) were asked additional questions.
  • Infants born after 12:01 a.m. on 1 April 1940 were not to be counted.
  • Informants from outside the family were supposed to be noted. For example, "Information from John Brown, neighbor."
Mr. Weintraub discussed various search tools designed to help you navigate the unindexed 1940 census when it is released. You will definitely want to check these out at - scroll down to the folder "US Census and Soundex (1790-1940)."

You can find more information about Mr. Weintraub, his talks, and the 1940 census on his web site at Volunteer to help index, if you have some free time!

Note: If you missed this talk, you can catch Mr. Weintraub on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society.

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Have you registered for our seminar, Genealogy NOW! Growing Your Family Tree, featuring nationally acclaimed author and speaker Dr. Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL yet? You will NOT want to miss this fabulous event - hurry and register, or you can register at the door!

Copyright by © San Luis Obispo County Genealogical Society


Anonymous said...


Thanks for the writeup. Just to clarify some points. The Dust Bowl and the Great Depression led to a more mobile US population. We weren't at war when the census was taken.

Also, the questions asked of everyone were at the top of the page, with 34 columns of information. The supplementary questions at the bottom of the sheet added another 16 columns of information on just those 2 out of 40 people selected by their placement on the sheet.

Joel Weintraub
Dana Point

I always appreciate speaking to your society... in a comfortable setting and interested people.

San Luis Obispo County Genealogical Society said...

Thank you for the clarification, Mr. Weintraub. We sure did enjoy your presentation!

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