In just 40 days (okay, now it's more like 39 1/2), the 1940 US Census will be released to the public. It has been referred to as the "largest, most comprehensive, and most recent record set available that records the names of those who were living in the United States at the time the census was taken."
The people who appear in the 1940 US Census are part of what newsman, Tom Brokaw referred to as "The Greatest Generation". They survived the Great Depression, many men fought in the second World War, and their women sacrificed here at home. These individuals understand hard work, industry, and have seen innovations in technology that we probably take for granted today. This generation deserves to have their records preserved.
Personally, I'm wired. Excited. Delirious. Quite honestly, I'm just downright antsy to set my eyes on these records. Safe to say, pretty much everyone in the genealogy community is. For years, we've been scrolling each decade from 1790-1930 locating our ancestors, or at least trying to. (Well, except for that blasted 1890 census that is on all of our genealogical wishlists.) But let's face it...it's time and we're ready for a new set of records. It's time to move ahead another 10 years and see where our ancestors have moved on to with their lives.
I'm lucky. I already know where my family members were in 1940, so I'll be able to locate them in the records with some ease (some - I know it's going to take a bit of effort) - this includes two sets of grandparents, a pair of uncles and an aunt, and great-grandparents, great-great grandparents, and yes, even 3x great-grandparents! This census will answer questions for so many of us, but only if we're able to locate those whom we seek. After all, it's not as if the census records are released completely indexed ya know. And that's why I'm helping.
Groups have united to make searching the new census records as easy and as quick as possible, and they're looking for help with indexing these census images. In the 1940's, Americans stepped up when they were called to the challenge. Now it's time for this generation, MY generation to step up to the challenge and help index the 1940 US Census. If you're curious...if you think you might like to help...check it out for yourself. But be forewarned - you may catch the genealogy bug!!