Starting today, Americans will be able to plug family names into an online 1940 U.S. census and receive details about the lives of famous NYers, and even their own relatives. According to the Associated Press, it will no longer be required to enter an exact address from 70 years ago to look for a NY connection. This search will unearth personal information about residents of NY, which was the largest state in 1940 and a hub for immigrants. All states may have an online name index from the 1940 census as soon as this fall, and sites like Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org, and MyHeritage.com have already made a few smaller states name-accessible.
This NY census information, reported AP, is of national interest because of the vast majority of American families who have their roots through Ellis Island. In addition to the search-by-name feature, census information gathered separately by NY state for 1915 and 1925 will also be available, indexed by name. According to AP, the NY state censuses from 1915 and 1925 are currently available for those with a NY ZIP code and email address.
Kathleen Roe, director of archive sand records management at the NY State Archives, told AP that the state censuses, “show every New Yorker from the famous to the infamous to everybody in between.” Included in these older censuses are names like Al Capone and Franklin Roosevelt. Former NY Mayor Ed Koch found family information contained in all three censuses. Ancestry.com is making all three of these census records available online. When the original 1940 census was released in April of this year, the site was so over-flooded with hits, 37 million to be exact, that it temporarily crashed.
Also included in this census data are details on occupat6ion, whether the immigrant was a naturalized citizen, and whether they owned or rented homes.