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Recent Your Stories Ask Ancestry Anne Interesting Finds Juliana's Corner

Finding Grandma Boone


Oh Boone family, where are you hiding?   From city directories and school yearbooks, I recently discovered some great information but I know the 1940 census holds some new information!   Velma and Howard married young.  Velma was just 15 when they were married.  In 1930 she is 16 years old and has a new baby.  Howard is working as an electrician for the switch board.  They are renting a home for $40 per month in Houston.  Then according to city directories, in 1949 they are living in Compton California.   When did they move? Why? 


From family stories, I know that Grandma Boone loved to play card games.  She was known as quite a character and ruthless at “Dirty Dog.”  I hope the 1940 Census will tell me about her education.  What grade was she able to complete considering she married at 15? Was she always a stay at home mom or did she work during the depression?  Howard is an equal mystery.  When did they buy the Compton house?  How much did it cost? Will the answers be in the 1940 Census?  I’m not sure if they were in Texas, California, or somewhere else in 1940 but I can’t wait to find out!


Laura Dansbury,, Director, Product Management 

1940 Census for Dad, check. Memories flowing, check.

While we were sleeping, wonderful things were happening behind the scenes at I was thrilled to wake up this morning to find Ohio posted. Before I even had my morning cup of coffee, I was diving in to find my dad’s first appearance in the census. 

I was not disappointed. As my eyes rested on this record that has been hidden from view for 72 years, it was exciting to see the whole family. When I called my dad to talk, as I had hoped, I learned some new things. You’d think that with two genealogists in the family, we would know everything there is to know about my grandparents. Nope. I had no idea until we talked, that it was his job with a paper company that got him deferred from service in World War II. They made boxes for the military, and they considered it essential to the war effort.  Why did I never think to ask about that?

We were also trying to narrow down when Grandpa stopped working for that paper company so that he and Grandma could start up their own company. Reviewing the records I already had gave us a clue in that my grandmother applied for Social Security in December 1946. She had worked prior to their getting married, but since Social Security wasn’t around back then, she hadn’t applied. Then they started a family and she didn’t work until the formed the company.  New items to add to my family timeline. I love it.

That’s the great thing about the 1940 census. I’ve seen a few people post on blogs and Facebook that they’re waiting until it’s all done and indexed before they dive in and start searching. Not me. That chat with my dad made my day, and now I have some new details to add to our family history.  

Now I can’t wait to find his grandfather. I wonder what memories that record will stir.

Ask Ancestry Anne: How do I know when my state is available in the 1940 census?

Question: More than one of our members has asked: “How do I know when my state is available in the 1940 census?”

Answer:  Watch our status page:  1940 United States Federal Census -

At the bottom of the page you will see a list of the States and Territories and where they are in process. 

This is updated manually and you will see the update at the bottom.

Even when a state is “In Process” you can check on the status and see if your county is there. For example, as I write this, we have started on the state of Washington and we have a few counties available to view.  If you see your county, take a look! 

I admit that yesterday I was checking often when they started Virginia to catch Rockbridge County as soon as I could.  And I am impatiently waiting for North Carolina. Patience is not a family trait!

I’ve bookmarked the page, so I can check it quickly.

Happy Searching!

—Ancestry Anne

Looking for Lavenia’s Granddaughters

I am waiting for Iowa. And I’ve tried to convince my friends in our data-processing center that Iowa would be such a great state to start with. No one is buying.

Though I can’t wait to see my grandparents, aunts and uncles in the 1940 census records, the folks I am waiting to find, I don’t even know yet. For years I have been tracing the female descendants of my 3rd great grand-aunt, Lavenia Triplett Careless. And those granddaughters of hers have proved elusive and wily. Based on clues to what their married names could be that I have found on USGenWeb, I hope to score a few big finds that will lead me to living cousins who might know a little more of the family story they would be willing to share with me. Here’s who I am looking for:

  • Florence Fisher, b. 1908 in Iowa
  • Mable L. Hyde, b. 1920 in Iowa
  • Betty Ann Hyde, b. 1924 in Iowa
  • Jennie Pearl Parks Parkin, b. Jul 1896 in Iowa

I’ve got my fingers crossed and my cursor on the refresh button at the 1940 Collection page on Ancestry where there is a chart showing the progress for each state (lower left corner).

C’mon Iowa.

Jennifer Utley, Ancestry Employee 15 years

DC and Nevada are Complete—Indiana and Other States Moving Quickly

Wow, states are loading quickly, with Washington, DC, and Nevada now complete. My home state of Indiana has 55 counties represented (of 92), and I’ve already identified who was living in my old house and quickly found my brother-in-law’s family in Jasper County. Whoohoo! We are off and running.

I think it’s only appropriate that on a day that’s like Christmas for family historians, we post the census image showing radio personality and the famous author of A Christmas Story, Jean Shepherd with his family in Hammond, Indiana.

What have you found so far? You can post your discoveries, memories, and photos to our 1940s interactive map.

Hail to the 1940 Chief

Our first big find in the 1940 census! None other than Franklin Delano Roosevelt, President, Head Honcho in Chief. Tracy Slade in our Digital Preservation department found this way past most people’s bedtime. But none of us could sleep ‘cuz we’re all too excited.

BTW, the 1940 census started streaming live at approximately 1:20 a.m. EST April 2 on You should definitely check it out. You can even watch as the images post. Amazing.

Go directly to FDR’s image here.

Or visit to start looking through the 1940 census today. How long have we waited to say that?