I spent some time this afternoon practicing my indexing skills, warming up my fingers and eyes in preparation to better index the 1940 U.S. Census on April 2. Just 13 days!
I'm probably more prepared to index than I am to find my ancestors in the 1940 Census. I haven't yet identified the Enumeration District (E. D.) for every family and/or individual I hope to find. But there's still a little time to look at the maps.
Have you looked at the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project blog yet? (Just click on the highlighted text and a new window will open with the blog in it.) There's a brief, interesting post there comparing the media blitz about the census in 1940 and the media blitz this year. Go to the blog to read about the excitement in 1940. The excitement this year? This will be the first time ever that a U.S. Census will be released to the internet and not on microfilm. Thank you, technology!
Have you signed up to index yet? Indexing is the process of looking at a digitized version of an original record and typing some specific information from it into boxes in the indexing program. Names, dates, ages, and locations are some of the most important pieces of information to index for a census. Once the census is indexed, it will be available for free public use. We'll be able to type in a name and, with a little luck, our ancestor's name will appear as a clickable link. Another thanks and tip of my hat to technology.
You can download the indexing software at the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project or at the FamilySearch Indexing page where, I just found, you can try a sample index project. (Click any of the highlighted words to go to the sites which will open in new windows.)
Won't you please join me in warming up your fingers?