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1940 Census - Frequently Asked Questions
Answer (Resolution)

FamilySearch can update the "Indexing Updates" page for the 1940 Census (Wiki page) more quickly than we can update a Knowledge Document.  If a question and answer are not found here, please see the Wiki.


  1. When is the 1940 Census going to be available to download and index?

  2. When is the state of Arizona (for instance) going to be available to index?

  3. When is San Bernardino County California (for instance) going to be available to index?

  4. What do we do with the Supplementary Questions (for person enumerated on lines...)?

  5. The marital status field was marked "M", but that was crossed out and a number 7 written instead, how is that to be indexed?

  6. Some columns contain information that was crossed out and a number was written in the field, how do I index that?

  7. Do I type R or Rural if I see that in the City of Residence Field?

  8. A "T" is in the household field, what do I do?

  9. Can I use the header information to index the County and State fields (columns 18 and 19) for where the person lived in 1935?

  10. In column 17 the enumerator used a straight line instead of indexing Same Place or Same House, is that to be dittoed?

  11. If a line on the census is empty or has writing that is not an actual record do I still index the line number and household?

  12. When I type W in the Color or Race field, the program automatically puts in White, should I removed the extra letters to match what the enumerator wrote?

  13. Sometimes the enumerator wrote Same House and sometimes Same Place, does it matter which I type?

  14. If Alberta Canada (for example) is written in the city field, what do I do?

  15. Should I index street addresses?

  16. What if Provo (for example) is written in the state/country field?


  1. The 1940 US Census indexing and arbitration batches started becoming available in the indexing program on April 2 with the release of Colorado, Delaware, Kansas, Oregon and Virginia. Expect other states to be added within two weeks.

  2. To check on the status or availability of indexing batches for the 1940 Census project:

    • Check the list of current projects on the FamilySearch indexing website at Click the Projects tab, then scroll down the page to US, (name of state desired) - 1940 Federal Census. When the state appears on the list, that state can be downloaded in the indexing program.

    • The 1940 US Census Community Project Facebook page also plans to post updates as to when specific states are ready to be indexed.


  3. The 1940 Census is batched by state. If your interest lies in a specific county, city, town, or other locality, the more you index from the state your area of interest is located in, the better the chance of being able to index batches for that locality.

  4. The information found here contains additional information about two of the individuals on the document and is not being indexed.

  5. Index the "M".  Enumerators were instructed to use 7 as the code for a spouse who was absent from the home.

  6. Ignore the numbers and index what was written originally.

  7. Type exactly what the enumerator wrote, sometimes he wrote R and sometimes the word Rural.  See Field Helps.

  8. Mark the field Blank.

  9. No.  Field Helps state that if nothing was recorded (in the FIELD) mark the field Blank.  Do NOT use the header from the image.

  10. Check to see what the age of the individual was, many times the enumerator used a straight line for children who had not been born in 1935.  If the individual was 5 or under, index the field as Blank.

  11. Do not index the line number and household for blank lines or lines that do not contain a record of a person.  See 101440 for help.

  12. The Project Field Helps say to type the complete word if it can be determined.  See Field Helps.

  13. Type exactly what was written.  Same House meant the individual lived in the same home in 1935, Same Place meant the individual lived in a different house, but in the same city or town.

  14. Index Alberta Canada in the city field as written.

  15. Do not index street addresses.

  16. Index Provo in the state/country field as written.


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