The month of April has turned out to be quite a busy but exciting one for AAGSNC and genealogy in general.
1940 Census Release
On April 2, 2012, the 1940 US Census was released by the National Archives for genealogical use. The genealogy community was set on fire as people from all over the country waited hours to access images of their ancestors and themselves. I tried for hours myself to get to the parish my family is from and spent nearly 14 of them waiting for the images to load. The site crashed quite a few times with all the hits it got, which totaled more than 22.5 million the first three hours after the release.
Luckily, by the end of the evening, I learned the trick of downloading the entire enumeration district to my computer and then searching from there. Of course, I could have just waited until all the hype died down, but with that, there wouldn’t be as exciting of a story to tell. The very first image I found with family members was one that featured relatives that I had no previous documentation for. They had all died young and had not left me with many leads. Finding them on this census was great!
AAGSNC members have been lending their hand toward the effort to index the census on behalf of FamilySearch, who is making the images and index free on their website. We highly encourage anyone who is interested in volunteering to index for this worthy project!
AAGSNC Featured on the Front Page of the Oakland Tribune, San Jose Mercury News, and Contra Costa Times
That same day, I was shocked to see that AAGSNC was featured on the front page of three Bay Area papers regarding the 1940 Census Release. Reporter Matt O’Brien of the Contra Costa Times had interviewed me and photographer Karl Mondon had photographed me the week prior for the story entitled “Confidential 1940 Census Data Becomes Public.” I was thinking that the story was to be hidden somewhere in a social life section. You should have seen my face when I saw that AAGSNC and a photo of me was on the front page on such a historic day.
And if that wasn’t enough…
AAGSNC and Ancestral Project Featured on KQED’s Forum
Later on that week, I was interviewed on KQED’s Forum radio show hosted by Larry Krasny. The show discussed the 1940 Census and the complexion of the Bay Area at the time. I spoke about the findings I had made earlier in the week, including some shocking things of about the highest level of schooling completed for my great grandparents. I also spoke about the implications the census would have on the youth who are part of the Ancestral Project, which is an ongoing project that AAGSNC volunteers with. To listen to the show, visit this link or click play below. To hear just my short and sweet interview, begin listening at the 24 minute mark.
AAGSNC Partners with California Genealogical Society and Oakland Family History Center for 1940 Census Party
Of course we couldn’t let this joyous event go by without a celebration! Nearly 100 genealogists and community members gathered at the Oakland Family History Center for a 1940 Census party on Monday, April 9, 2012. After being briefed on how to find relatives without an index, squeals of joy were heard as attendees found ancestors and themselves on the census. More photos to come later.