The 1940 Census – One Year Later

This week has been a tough one for me. I never realized how hard it is to get back to your routine after a vacation! My vacations are usually quick weekend trips somewhere. They’re usually filled with so much planning and activity that we’re on the road home before I realize the vacation had even started. That wasn’t the case last week though! My Aunt Melinda, cousin Patty, Patty’s daughters and my family all made a two day trek down to Florida to visit my brother. We spent a whole day in St. Augustine, FL to get things started. I think that helped the rushed feeling go away. Then we descended on my brother’s house in the Fort Lauderdale area. We had no plans for our time there. So from Monday through Friday, we got up, got dressed and decided then what we felt like doing that day. Sometimes it was shopping, sometimes it was sightseeing, and some days it was just walking around his neighborhood for a little relaxation. It was wonderful!

Now that I’m back and rested, I’m finding it hard to get caught up but I wouldn’t exchange that week for the world! Plus, my last two months were spent on my brother’s birthday present and now I’m a little lost as to what to do during the day. Not that I don’t have plenty to do, I was just so used to getting up and working on that quilt!

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To get myself back on track, I’ve taken up the motto “little steps are better than no steps.” Somedays I get more done than others but I’m still moving and that’s what counts. There were a few subjects that came up leading up to my vacation and while I was gone that I wanted to comment on but didn’t have the time. I hope to bring up some of them a little later once I’m able to really read all the info on those subjects.

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One of the subjects that came up this week, was the one year anniversary of the 1940 census release! I’ve been slowly getting 1940 census entries for my family tree, but in honor of the anniversary I wanted to do something bigger.

Checking my file showed me that I had only added about 120 1940 census citations. I think that’s a completely respectable number given the amount of time that has passed. We all broke a record on speed in indexing the census. I don’t think if you asked me this time last year I would have believed having 120 citations already! I decided that to go “bigger” I’d do a printout of my file for people that should have been alive during the census. To be on the safe side, I think I did anyone born after 1850 and then filtered out anyone who died before 1940. That left me with A LOT of people. 53 pages of people to be exact. Some of them I already have in those 120 citations, but I didn’t go through and cross them off first. I figured it would be easier to cross them off as I go down the list. Which I’ve completed one full page of already! I’m using a yellow highlighter for the ones I’ve found and using a blue highlighter for ones that might have passed away.

The only thing holding me back on some of the individuals is that I’ve got them cited with their parents but not after that. So instead of going through and finding them in every year leading up to 1940 and 1940, I’m just skipping them for now. I should probably do another highlighter color for that. In fact, I should have probably done green for found, yellow for skipped, and orange for the question marks/deceased. That would have been good to know one page ago, but I’ll probably still go ahead and switch to that color code. It makes more sense.

Enough rambling from me, time to get back to work!

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