Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The First Step - Admit You Have a Problem

Obviously by now, if you're a regular reader of genealogy blogs or even watch the news, you're already aware that the 1940 US Census was released on April 2nd. For the seasoned researcher, this was like a gift that we've waited 10 years to see and for some it came with disappointment, while others were cheering and squealing with excitement at their desks that day. My personal search of the census came with a bit of disappointment as a famed family "secret" was well kept when the enumerator came to the house - but that story is for another post.

On the day of the release, after doing my initial search and then walking away from my computer disgusted, I returned and started reading up on what other bloggers and friends were finding.  Someone posted a link to  The 1940 Census Community Project Blog where news about the release was being shared. I read posts about the 1940s people, news and culture, indexing the census and how to search it - soon I was recharged by the excitement and went back to looking at the census.   In the days following the release they have posted information on famous people in the census and where to find them, as well as contests for indexers to participate in.  I suggest you visit the blog, subscribe and share the content - its a great read and will keep you up to date on all things "1940 US Census".  

Now for my first step - admitting I have a problem.. As I looked through pages and pages of different districts in different states, I became enthralled by the names and places and soon I was signing up to do some indexing - something I had never considered before thinking surely I didn't have time for it. Seriously?  I can barely squeeze out a blog post these days.  At heart I am a data entry geek, love entering data & always have, so this was actually right up my alley - maybe a little too much

"My name is Cindy and I'm addicted to indexing census data."  I cannot stop, every waking moment my computer calls to me.  That little whisper in the back of my mind asking "wonder what states are available now?"  I began working on Colorado & Kansas - states that I had no family in, but then Virginia came up and soon Maryland and Massachusetts.  While I really try to work on the batches that they have labeled "Highest Priority", it's difficult not to grab a batch from a state that you're interested in now and then.  If you like this sort of work I highly recommend it and even if you don't, won't it be great when the entire census is on line and indexed?  All genealogists should take part in this project. Our "community" always helps the other researcher from time to time - certainly we can all take a little time and help index the census.  After all, every one of us will benefit from it and even if you can only spare an hour a day, it's time well spent.

As part of ambassador program this blog post enters me into a drawing for an ipad

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