Tuesday, April 3, 2012

#1940Census Last Status Update for 2 April

1940 Census History Is STILL Waiting

As I write this it is closing on the close of 2 April in the Eastern United States and it’s time for a final status update on the launch of the 1940 U.S. Census. If you receive my articles via e-mail, you’ll also find updates from throughout Monday.

  • Ancestry.com – Ancestry finished the day with images loaded for four states and these territories: American Samoa, Delaware, District of Columbia, Guam, Indiana, Maine, Nevada, Panama Canal, Virgin Islands. Some images are available from several more states as image loading progresses: California, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia.
  • FamilySearch.org – It appears FamilySearch’s plan for the day was to load just the five pre-announced states: Colorado, Delaware, Kansas, Oregon, Virginia. Once those states were loaded, their focus seemed to turn to indexing.
  • Indexing.FamilySearch.org – FamilySearch finished the day with indexing projects available for all the five states except Delaware, which was previously available. Does that mean we finished indexing Delaware in one-half day?!? I’ll check at work Tuesday. There are arbitration batches available for all five states.

    I earned bragging rights by indexing a batch on the first day. I did page 1B of Philomath, Benton, Oregon. (Somebody beat me to page 1A.)
  • 1940census.archives.gov was down most of the official launch day1940census.archives.gov – As I expected, an unexpectedly large number of visitors crashed this, the official website of the National Archives. It was unavailable until the end of the day. In case it is down again Tuesday, click the image at right to see how it is supposed to appear.

    The website was designed for 10 million hits per day, with the ability to scale even larger on demand. According to a spokesperson for hosting company, Archives.com, the site got 37 million hits during the first eight hours. Archives.com issued this statement about the outage.
  • FindMyPast.com – A spokesperson for Find My Past said they will start posting images in a couple of days and have all of them up in the next two weeks.
  • Archives.com is hosting the National Archives census website, so I wasn’t completely surprised that they didn’t have anything on their own website (that I could find). Still, they could have commercialized their own site, which they couldn’t do on the government site.
  • MyHeritage.com – After the close of the business day, the MyHeritage website began allowing searches of the census data. See http://www.myheritage.com/1940census. I saw no indication as to which states were online. I tried a few: Utah, no; Delaware, no; District of Columbia, no; Vermont, no; Ohio, no. I feel somewhat confident in saying they probably had no images loaded Monday.

I’m awarding first place of Day One of the horse race to Ancestry.com for getting all or parts of 15 states/territories online. Second place goes to FamilySearch, who got five states loaded and sent off to us volunteers (we volunteers?) for indexing. The National Archives (Archives.gov) and host Archives.com did not place, giving what many are calling a dismal performance.

Happy Anniversary to Me

Today marks the 5th Anniversary of the Ancestry Insider. Thanks for all your support.

Enough celebrating. Now get back to work…


  1. I just looked at familysearch but couldn't find the census posted for the five states you mentioned.

  2. MyHeritage.com actually has a number of states posted, and even got a few up on Monday night. It looks like they're going for the big population states first: New York, California, Illinois, Texas, etc.


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