Wednesday, March 28, 2012

1940 Census Crashes

1940 censusI feel a bit like Chicken Little. But looking at the amount of marketing buzz that both FamilySearch (and partners) and are generating over the 1940 census, I have a hard time believing that we, the genealogy community, aren’t going to crash something or somebody on 2 April 2012 when the 1940 Census debuts.

That’s my official excuse for not doing much as an official 1940 Census Blog Ambassador. I don’t want to add to the problem.

Just kidding.

Seriously, a friend mentioned that he installed the indexing app for his mother recently. This was on a Sunday not long ago. It took him several (seven?) attempts. The indexing system is just not keeping up with demand.

FamilySearch remains confident.

Help me prove them wrong… or right… Set some indexing time aside Monday after work. (Don’t tell my employer. I don’t plan on waiting until after.) Index a batch. If nothing crashes, index some more.

One way or the other, Monday is going to be quite the day!


  1. I've been busily indexing in the evening the past two weeks, working on the Texas death certificates, and haven't had any problems. During this time, I also did both practice 1940 censuses with no difficulty. What a lot of information is in them! I hope this gives you a little more confidence that the system is robust enough to handle the load.

  2. You aren't chicken little, you're probably right. Dick Eastman predicts catastrophic server crash(es). I don't plan to log on on C hour C day, I'll just go about my business and watch the chaos. I've had the indexing program installed for a while, it didn't take seven tries, it took one. I don't have an outside job to go to but I'll probably wait a day or two to jump into indexing and try to get other stuff done. My biggest fear, frankly, is that the Eastman prediction will come so true that my ability to do anything I need to will be compromised.

  3. I downloaded the indexing software a few days ago with no problems. I chose to do some WWI draft registrations and they went really fast. Like others, plan to leave indexing alone next week and see what happens. Maybe they have safeguards built into the system to handle the load, or reject the overload. Still it is all very exciting. I think the indexing is going to go faster than people think, and it sure is giving FamilySearch a boost in indexers.

  4. Remember the launch of the Ellis Island web site? Multiple server crashes for the first week ...

  5. Yeah - the nara site is crashing... so much for amazon being able to host. They must underestimate the 'power of the genealogist'. The force is strong with us.
    Okay - now I'm getting weird.
    Theresa (Tangled Trees)

  6. I have tried searching repeatedly since 9am EDT with NO results.
    It just reverts back to a blank search page, or it locates my ED page but will not open.
    What an embarrassing let down. I can see it now...
    Headlines "NARA web crashes.1940 Census expected to go another 72 years."

  7. Ooops! Forgot to include the link to my youtube video labeled "1940 Census Crashes,"


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