The 1940 Federal Census Has Arrived

What is obvious is that I’ve put off blogging for as long as I could, but today is one of those #Genealogy days that needs to go down in my research logs and be remembered in a special way. Today is the day that they are releasing the 1940 US Federal Census records. So what’s the big deal and why is this special?

What is special is that it is being released on the internet, so will be available to the entire world of genealogists both amateur and professional alike, at the same moment. The only real barriers are the stability of your internet connection and having enough technical knowledge to find and use the actual NARA site it will be hosted on, and/or wading through the hundreds - maybe thousands - of new how-to blogs, videos and articles that have been published to “help” you. I promise not to add to that number here, as I am not an expert and would rather get to my own research rather than try to lead others today.

Do you remember the release of the 1930 census? Neither do I. There’s no doubt that I was just as personally involved in Genealogy back then as I am now, but what has changed is not only the online release, but the hype and broadcast nature of social media now a part of our daily lives.

Have you been watching your Twitter or your #Genealogy RSS feed this past week – month – year? What about Facebook®? How many people are your friends there because you are related but never heard of each other until they asked to “Friend” you? Are you on LinkedIn® and now come up when someone “Googles” your name to find out more about you? Ten years ago, would you have even known what I just said? When and why did Friend and Google become verbs anyway?

All of this has come to a head today; The internet access that’s a utility and must-have in homes now. The Twitter® feed. The Facebook® page. The search engine of choice, (mine is still AltaVista, now absorbed by Yahoo but still better), and of course and Family Tree Maker. I tried to avoid Facebook® and Twitter® for a while – but then decided to stop fighting and joined the social media madness, first because it became part of my day-job, and then because I found real people who were interesting to follow. Since I had to use it every day, I learned how to use social media as a tool rather than see it as an intrusion.

So today the 1940 Census has been released. I am marking this day so I remember it. I’m not sure I’ll be around for the 1950 census release. I hope to be – and maybe that will be my next day to blog.

Now that I’ve actually “blogged” on my blog – do I need to continue this too and write some of what I’ve learned every once in a while, or is this all just so boring that I can stop here? Tweet me your thoughts.!/CMR_Gen


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