This is the first in a series about my preparations for the release of the 1940 census on April 2, 2012.
With no index available at release date, the 1940 census presents some challenges for the genealogist. My great-grandparents, the Todds, will hopefully be the easiest of my ancestors to find. I have an exact street address for them and there is a high likelihood that they were living at that address in 1940.
John A. and Olivia R. Todd were living at 2075 E Tioga street in Philadelphia in 1930 according to the census of that year. They were also living there in 1920.
In 1942, John A. Todd, Jr. lists his mother as the “person who will always know your address” on his draft registration card for World War II. She is still at 2075 E. Tioga street.
With an exact address, how do I narrow down my search to one or two enumeration districts for the 1940 census?
Steve Morse has a tool for Obtaining EDs for the 1940 census in one step (Large Cities). First, I select the state, city and street. That leads to over 40 enumeration districts. I must add cross streets to narrow it down, but I am not that familiar with Philadelphia, so I head over to google maps:
View Larger Map
I add Frankford and Amber and narrow it down to two enumeration districts: 51-1881 and 51-1884. If I add Atlantic, only one enumeration district is returned: 51-1884. I’ve decided to start with that one and if I can’t find them I’ll search for them in the other as well. Further research on their children revealed their eldest, Frank A. Todd, should be in ED 51-1881 so I will be searching that one anyway.
With an exact address and a helpful tool on the internet I was able to narrow my search from a city as large as Philadelphia to a single enumeration district. My other ancestors won’t be as easy and I will detail my preparations for a few of those in later posts.