For about a month I’ve been going through my Family Tree Maker databases to narrow down people alive during the 1940 census…but the list was way too long. I narrowed it down further to five generations back and their descendants but that still was way too many people. So I chose to look up only direct ancestors alive during 1940. This will be my list to look up while awaiting the census index.
After coming up with a list of fifteen people, I looked up their most likely address (pulled from census records, newspaper articles, and city directories) and used Steve Morse’s One-Step Webpage Unified 1940 Census ED Finder to find the enumeration district. This evening I’ve looked up the enumeration districts on both archives.gov and Ancestry with different results.
I had difficulty loading up the enumeration districts on the archives.gov site – it was easier to just download the enumeration district to my computer and look through it later. I found using Ancestry was much quicker.
Both ways have their pros and cons. You might find it easier to download a whole enumeration district from archives.gov if you think multiple families might be found in that district. If not, you might want to go with the faster Ancestry. Ancestry, however, does not appear to have all the records up yet, so you might have to wait.