1940 Census Data Goes Online And Searchable Wednesday
Census data isn't made public for 72 years, so this is the first opportunity for the 1940 census data to be shared. Beginning on Wednesday, you can access New York's census data, with other states planned to come online through the Fall. They opted for NY first, given it's being an immigration hub. I imagine it doesn't hurt the publicity that it will contain some names most people know.
Americans are in for a cyber-surprise on Wednesday: They’ll be able to plug family names into an online 1940 U.S. census and come up with details about the lives of New Yorkers — from Joe DiMaggio and Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy to their own relatives. Starting after midnight, it will no longer be essential to provide exact addresses from seven decades ago to look for a New York connection.
Also Wednesday, another historic treasure trove appears on the Internet for the first time: census information compiled separately by New York state for 1915 and 1925, indexed by name. These records include details about famed personalities such as Lauren Bacall, Al Capone, Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Houdini, who according to the 1925 census was born in the United States, even though most biographies say he was born in Hungary.
The 1940 census by name index will be available for all states possibly as early as this fall. While New York is the biggest state whose census records are already name-indexed, a number of smaller states also have been made name-accessible by Ancestry.com and two other companies, FamilySearch.org and MyHeritage.com.