Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The BIG DAY is Almost Here!

That's right. It is just 12 more days until the NCAA Basketball National Championship Game! I'm holding my breath and hoping the Kentucky Wildcats get there. I really want #8. Go Big Blue!

Oh, I almost forget. There is a little something else happening on April 2nd that is probably of more interest to most of the people reading this (if anyone is still reading). The 1940 U. S. Census will finally be released! It seems like we have been talking about this day for years so it's hard to believe it is almost here. 

The 1940 U. S. Census will be released as free digital images. No microfilm, no paid subscription. That may sound too good to be true but it is true. However, there is one little catch. There will NOT be an index to all those images - at least not on opening day or any day in the very near future. 

Don't worry. There is an index coming. How soon it is ready depends on all of us. 

The 1940 U. S. Census Community Project is set up and ready to start indexing but they need volunteers. If you haven't already done so, please go there right now and register. If you are an indexer for FamilySearch then you know the ropes and are ready to hit the ground running. If you have never indexed before, trust me, it's not hard. By volunteering you are not committing to an amount of time or a particular schedule. Index as much as you can as often as you can. Every little bit will help. 

If you register now, download the indexing software and complete a practice batch simulating indexing the 1940 U. S. Census, you will be entered to win one of three VISA gift cards valued at $100 or $50. Follow the instructions in Weekly Contest - Week of March 19 on The 1940 U. S. Census Blog to be eligible to win.

Some societies have joined the indexing project so you might want to check with your local or state organizations about joining their efforts. I know the Kentucky Historical Society is participating. Check out their blog to find out how to get linked up with them. If you are new to indexing, they even have some classes.

Many researchers are creating lists of people they want to look for and trying to narrow down which Enumeration District they will likely be in but I'm not bothering with that right now. I already know that there is no way I will find the people I want most without the index. The faster we get this thing indexed, the faster we will all be finding those records we want most.  

Disclosure: As member of ambassador program this blog post enters me into a drawing for a Kindle Fire. 

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