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1940 Census Update—All States and Territories Now Indexed and Searchable!

That does it. As we told you this morning, you can now search for your relatives from any state in the just-completed index to the 1940 census on Ancestry.com. We took the latest state indexes for a test drive and here’s who we found.

Christopher Lloyd
In the hit movie Back to the Future, we see “Doc Brown” as he was in 1955. Now we can travel back in time and catch a glimpse of actor Christopher Lloyd in 1940. A one-year-old, he was living in Stamford, Fairfield Co., Connecticut, with his parents, sister Adele, and several servants.

Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway was enumerated with his wife Pauline in 1940 at his famous home at 907 Whitehead on Key West, Monroe Co., Florida. It was not to be for long. That year he divorced Pauline, married the famous war correspondent, Martha Gellhorn, and moved to Cuba.

Charlton Heston
Although he was born John Charles Carter in 1923, by the time of the 1940 census, at age  16, John was already going by Charlton Heston—a combination of his mother’s maiden name and his step-father’s last name. 

Kim Novak
Model and actress, Kim Novak, was born Marilyn Pauline Novak in 1933, and in 1940, she’s living in Chicago at 1910 Springfield Avenue. Her dad worked as a clerk for a “steam railway,” earning $1,060 in 1939.

Quincy Delight Jones, Jr.
When Rashida Jones was featured on Who Do You Think You Are? this past season, we learned a bit about her mother’s side of the family. Now we can learn a little about her dad, music producer Quincy Jones. At age seven, he was living with his parents and brother on Chicago’s South Side, at 3548 Prairie Avenue. His father was employed in construction as a carpenter.

Antoine Dominique “Fats” Domino Jr.
R&B legend Antoine “Fats” Domino was only twelve in 1940. His family was living next door to Harrison Verrett, a relative who is credited with helping him learn to play.

Elvis Presley
“The King” was five years old and living in rural Lee County, Mississippi, where his father, Vernon, worked as a carpenter on a sanitary project and mom, Gladys, was a seamstress.

Morgan Freeman
Morgan Freeman’s family moved around quite a bit when he was young, but the 1940 census found him living at 3412 Vernon Avenue in Chicago, Cook Co., Illinois. His father’s relationship to the head of household is listed as “partner,” which is a common notation you’ll find on the 1940 census. The enumerators were instructed that, “if two or more persons who are not related by blood or marriage share a common dwelling unit as partners, write head for one and partner for the other or others.” Here on the heels of the Great Depression, it’s not surprising to find friends pooling resources and sharing a residence.  

Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson was raised by his grandparents as their own child. In 1940, his is living in Neptune, Monmouth Co., New Jersey with grandmother, Ethel, listed as the head of household. His mother, June and Jack list their relationship to her as daughter and son, respectively. Ethel worked as a beautician and June was working as an exhibition dancer for a theatrical agency.

Willie Hugh Nelson
In 1940, Willie Nelson and his sister Bobbie were living in Hill County, Texas, with their widowed grandmother. They are listed as “son” and “daughter.” Bobbie began playing piano in her brother’s band in the 1970s and continues to tour with him.

Andy Griffith
The late Andy Griffith is living with his parents in Mount Airy, Surry Co., North Carolina, a place that is reminiscent of the setting for his famous Andy Griffith Show.  The town embraces that link and is home to the Andy Griffith museum.  It is still home to the original “Snappy Lunch” diner, and the town hosts “Mayberry Days” every September. (Yes, there is also a Floyd’s Barber shop now.)

Don Knotts
Andy’s co-star Don Knotts, was living with his widowed mother, and brother in the town where he was born, Morgantown, Monongalia Co., West Virginia. His brother had earned $300 in the past year working as a laborer in school construction.

Charles Hardin “Buddy” Holley
April 8, 1940. “That’ll be the day” that the census taker came to call at the Holley household, where Ella P. gave the details (indicated with the x in a circle after her name) on her son Charles H., who would someday be known to the world as rock and roll legend, Buddy Holly.

John McCain
In 1940, Senator John McCain’s family was still living in the Panama Canal Zone where he had been born in 1936, and where his father was a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy.

Find your family now in the fully searchable 1940 U.S. Census.

1940 Census Indexing at Ancestry.com Now 70% Complete

Last night Ancestry.com posted images from twelve more states, bringing the total to 37 states and the District of Columbia. With 70% of the images now indexed, you’re chances are better than ever for finding family. Newly added is Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Utah. (Search all 37 states here.)

Take a look at some of the notable names we found in this release.

Chuck Norris
You don’t enumerate Chuck Norris; he enumerates you. OK, so that’s probably not true. Since Carlos Ray “Chuck” Norris was only 0/12 of a year old, he probably wasn’t wielding a pen, a sword, or any other weapon. But by 1950, we bet he was already kicking some butt and taking names.

Walter Cronkite
Walter Cronkite was already reporting the news in 1940, working as a newspaper writer for a news service in Kansas City, Missouri. And that’s the way it is April 2, 1940.

Tom Brokaw
Another award-winning newscaster was just getting his start in life. Thomas J. Brokaw is listed as a “permanent guest” in a hotel in Bristol, Day Co., South Dakota, age 1/12 of a year. We’re glad he decided to venture away from that hotel so that he could bring us the news in a career that has spanned five decades.

Johnny Cash
The “man in black” was just a boy age eight when the census taker came to call in 1940. His dad earned $140 a year as a laborer in a public school to support his wife and five children, and reported additional income, probably from the farm they lived on.

Jack Lemmon
Jack Lemmon (John Uhler Lemmon III) was no grumpy old man in 1940. He was only 15 and is enumerated with his parents. His father made more than $5,000 that year as a retail and wholesale salesman in the flower industry.

Leonard Nimoy
As Spock, Leonard Nimoy once said, “Insufficient facts always invite danger.” We can’t tell whether it was insufficient facts or just poor recording that led the enumerator to not only list Leonard’s last name as Mimony, but to also list him as female and the “granddaughter” of the head of household (his mother Dora’s father). While not exactly dangerous, it did make it harder to locate him.

Angie Dickinson
Angeline Brown, age eight, living in Edgeley, LaMoure Co., North Dakota, would not stay there for long. In 1942 the family would move to Burbank, California and Angeline would go on to become the movie and TV star that most of us know as Angie Dickinson.

Glen Campbell
The “Rhinestone Cowboy” was living on Bills Delight Road, in Saline, Pike County, Arkansas in 1940, the seventh son of Wesley and Carrie Campbell. His father, a farmer, reported working 60 hours during the week of March 24-30 of that year.

Harry S. Truman
The 33rd president of the United States was a senator in 1940, five years before being elected to the country’s highest office. He’s living in the house at 219 N. Delaware St. in Independence, Missouri—a house built by his wife Bess’ grandfather. This was the Truman family home when they weren’t living in Washington, D.C. His census record indicates that he had four years of high school. He is the only 20th century president that didn’t get a college degree.

Find your family in the 1940 U.S. Census.

Ancestry.com Adds 1940 Census Indexes for 15 States

Last night Ancestry.com released its largest batch of indexes to the 1940 census yet. The addition of fifteen new states puts the Ancestry.com index at 55% complete. Indexes are now available for these twenty-six states:

Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Who will you find today? Here are some notable names that we found in the newly added states.

Liberace
Wladziu Valentino Liberace is still using his first name in the 1940 census, though he’s Anglicized it to Walter. Later that year, he’ll head off to New York, but in April he was still living at home in Milwaukee with his family—including his mother, Francis. He made $300 the year before working as a musician. Bet that total has a few more digits on the 1950 census.  

William Sylvester Harley  and Arthur Davidson
It’s hog heaven for G.I.s when famed motorcycle company Harley-Davidson produces more than 60,000 motorcycles for the troops during WWII. (A third of those went to Russian soldiers—after they joined our side.)

Orville Redenbacher
According to the census, Orville Redenbacher and his wife, Corinne, have moved from Terra Haute, where they were living in 1935, to Patoka, Indiana. Orville developed his first hybrid popcorn strains in 4H, but it will be another 25 years before he and business partner Charles Bowman perfect the hybrid popcorn that will make him famous.

Hank Williams
Country music legend Hank (Hiram) Williams was living with his mother, sister, and two lodgers in Montgomery, Alabama, in April 1940. Lillian, Hank’s mother, ran a boarding house to help support the family while Hank’s father was hospitalized for years in Louisiana.

Martin Luther King Jr.
In 1940, Martin Luther King Jr. is sharing the house with a brother, a sister, a grandmother, an aunt, and a lodger. He hasn’t started skipping grades yet in school, but he has already changed his name from Michael to Martin. His father, a pastor, made $2,500 the previous year.

Clark Gable and Carole Lombard
“Ma” and “Pa” (as they called each other) Gable settled down on their ranch in Encino, California, after their 1939 wedding.

Dorothy Marie Hofert (David Letterman’s mom)
Dorothy is two years away from marrying Harry Joseph Letterman, seven from becoming mother to her famous son, David, and fifty-four from her first gig as correspondent at the 1994 Winter Olympics

Nelle Harper Lee
Did you ever wonder where Nelle Harper Lee got her ideas for To Kill a Mockingbird? The 1940 census lists her as the daughter of Francis [Finch] and Amasa Lee, who in 1940 was working as a lawyer in private practice. At 13, a precocious Nelle is already in high school.

Henry Louis “Hank” Aaron
Hammerin’ Hank is six years old in the 1940 census, and his little brother Tommie is seven months. Tommie and Hank share the record for most home runs by a pair of siblings in the Majors—though they didn’t exactly share and share alike: Hank had 755, Tommie 13.

Margaret Munnerlyn Mitchell Marsh
Margaret Mitchell Marsh lists her occupation as a writer doing “private work,” though she claims no salary or wages for the previous year. On her way to selling two million copies of Gone with the Wind, after the movie came out in 1939, she and husband John R. Marsh probably got on just fine on the $5,000+ wages he reported from his work as advertising manager for a power company.

Henry Ford and John DeLorean
Back to the future. In 1940, Michigan was home to both auto industry founding father Henry Ford and futuristic innovator John DeLorean in 1940. 

Dorothy Lamour
Dorothy Lamour was lighting up screens with the recent release of The Road to Singapore with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. On the home front, she apparently had moved in with her mother and stepfather after her 1939 divorce. (Five lines down on the census page you’ll find her neighbor Boris Karloff.)

Bob Hope
Was Bob trying to go incognito by using his real given name Leslie (misspelled as Lesley) Hope on the 1940 census?

Harry Lillis “Bing” Crosby
And apparently “Bing” was good enough for the rest of the world, but nor for Uncle Sam, who recorded Harry L. Crosby and family at 10500 Camarillo Street.

Warren Buffet
Apparently the apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree. Nine-year-old Warren Buffet’s father lists his occupation as the proprietor of a bond investment business on the 1940 census.

Bob Gibson
Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson, the last of seven children, is living with his mother and brothers and sisters in Omaha. Gibson would give up his spot with the legendary Harlem Globetrotters to play even more legendary baseball with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Johnny Carson
The Carsons moved from Iowa to Nebraska when Johnny was eight. About the time the census was taken, Johnny started working as an amateur magician—the Great Carsoni—but he records no income for 1939.

Dorothy Gale
She’s a little too young, and not an orphan, but the 1940 census for Kansas does include a Dorothy Gale.

Salvatore “Sonny” Bono
Before his family made the move to sunny California, Salvatore “Sonny” Bono lived in Detroit, where his father working on the assembly line in an auto plant and his mother owned a beauty parlor.

Francis Ford Coppola
Census as prophet? Francis Ford Coppola’s biography says he was born in Detroit—which is where he is living in 1940. But the census says the one-year-old was born in New York—which is where he would grow up.

Hunter S. Thompson
Godfather of Gonzo journalism Hunter S. Thompson was living in Kentucky with his father, a veteran of the World War according to the supplemental details provided at the bottom of the page. There was no “1” at the end of World War yet. Too bad some things change.

Dennis Lee Hopper
Easy riding Dennis Hopper is living with his parents in the home of his maternal grandparents, William L. and Nellie Davis, where they were apparently living in 1935 as well. Grandpa is a farmer, while Dennis’s father manages a grocery store.

Carl Hilding “Doc” Serverinsen
Doc got the nickname “Little Doc” after his father, who was a dentist in private practice in Oregon according to the 1940 census.

Alan B. Shepard
The 1940 census didn’t report on sports or hobbies, so there is no indication of whether the moon’s most famous golfer had started working on his swing yet.

William West Anderson
Apparently tired of Gotham, Batman was hanging out in Walla Walla during the 1940 census. Or at least that’s where you’ll find his alter ego Adam West (living incognito as 11-year-old Billy West Anderson).

Marty Robbins
Martin David Robinson hasn’t shortened his name to Marty Robbins and started singing gunfighter ballads quite yet. In a couple of years, he’ll join the Navy; in 1953, he’ll join the Grand Ole Opry.

Barry Goldwater
Before Barry M. Goldwater became a senator and then a presidential candidate, he was president and manager of the family’s retail department store. The business is apparently doing well enough to allow for three live-in servants: a cook, a house man, and a nurse.

Florence Henderson
Judging from Florence Henderson’s 1940 census record, the role of Carol Brady wasn’t much of a stretch. She’s the youngest of nine children still living at home.

James Earl “Jimmy” Carter
Brother William (Billy) is only three. Father is a farmer—possibly also a manager. H-2 for Jimmy’s highest grade at the time.

Rosalynn Smith [Carter]
And here’s his future wife, Rosalynn Smith. Her father, a mechanic at an auto garage, died later that year.

Jimmy Hoffa
We found Jimmy Hoffa—in 1940. He’s at home in Detroit with wife, Josephine, and daughter, Barbara.

1940 Census Indexes for Six More States—CO, OH, PA, TN, VT, and VA

This week Ancestry.com launched 1940 census indexes for six more states—Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia.  Who are you looking for and what stories will you discover? Here are some well-known names that we’ve run across.

Tina Turner
While the unincorporated town of Nutbush doesn’t really have “city limits” as the name of the famous Tina Turner song might imply, it’s nonetheless where we find her in 1940 listed as Anna Bullocks, age 5/12.  (You can find Nutbush in Civil District 11 on this enumeration map.) 

Jack Nicklaus
Only three months old in April of 1940, the “Golden Bear” was more likely to have been playing with Teddy bears than golf clubs, but we found the future golf pro, Jack Nicklaus living with his parents, Louis “Charlie” Nicklaus and Helen, in Columbus, Ohio. 

Arnold Palmer
Jack Nicklaus’ rival, Arnold Palmer, was probably already getting golf tips from his dad, Milfred “Deacon” Palmer, whose occupation is listed in 1940 as “pro green[s] keeper” in a country club.

Shirley MacLaine and Warren Beatty
The only roles  brother and sister Shirley [MacLaine] and [Henry] Warren Beaty were prepping for in 1940 were those of kindergartner and preschooler. They probably got a lot of help from dad, whose occupation was that of “principal-teacher” in a public school.

Bill Cosby
In 1940, Bill Cosby is living with his parents and younger brother, James, and lodgers Ernest and Bertha Fletcher. Ernest is probably his uncle, Ernie Fletcher, who he refers to in his book I Am what I Ate— and I’m Frightened!!! And Other Digressions from the Doctor of Comedy. The North Philadelphia neighborhood where he’s living would in later years become the backdrop for the stories that were featured on his hit series Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids.

Grace Kelly
In 1940, years before becoming an award-winning actress and Princess of Monaco, ten-year old Grace Kelly was living in Philadelphia with her father, John “Jack” Kelly, owner of a construction business, mother Margaret, two sisters and a brother. Florence Merkel, personal secretary, is living in the household as well. Princess Grace returned to Philadelphia in 1966 to attend Florence’s funeral. (Want to learn more about the Kelly’s? Grace’s dad was chosen to answer the supplemental questions at the bottom of the schedule.)

Doris Day
Although only sixteen at the time of the 1940 census, Doris Kappelhoff’s mother gave her age in the census as eighteen. By this time Doris had begun singing professionally on the radio and in local bands, although her occupation in the census is listed simply as “new worker.” She’s living in Cincinnati, Ohio with her mother, Alma and brother, Paul. 

Phil Donahue
The future talk show host and media mogul’s 1940 census record shows the five-year-old Phil Donahue living with his parents in Cleveland, Ohio, where his father, Phillip, is working as a furniture salesman, earning $2,200 per year.

Paul Newman
We found Paul L. Newman living with his brother and parents, Arthur and Theresa in Shaker Heights, Ohio (a suburb of Cleveland), where he was attending Shaker Heights High School at the time. A few years later he was serving in the Pacific theater of World War II and in 1945 was serving as an Aviation Radioman, Third Class aboard the USS Hollandia about 500 miles from Japan when the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.

Tim Conway
An avid horseracing fan, comedian Thomas [Tim] Conway may have come about his love of horses at an early age. In the 1940 census, his father’s occupation is listed as “horseman, country estate.”

See who you can find in the 1940 Census

See who we’ve found in 1940

Who can you find in the 1940 U.S. Federal Census? Here are just a handful of recognizable names we’ve already discovered in New York and Washington DC:

New York
Katherine Hepburn   “The Great Kate” was in New York acting in the stage version of The Philadelphia Story, which had closed its year-long run at the Shubert Theater just a few days before the census was taken. She wouldn’t be in New York for long though, as she needed to be back in Hollywood where the movie version of The Philadelphia Story began filming in July of that year.

John D. Rockefeller Jr.
  The philanthropist and iconic businessman had driven “The Last Rivet” in the final original building in Rockefeller Center  the previous year and was basking in the success of his now-thriving “city within a city.”

Billie [Elnora] Holiday Born Eleanora Harris, Billie lists her occupation as a singer in a night club, and is living with her mother, Sadie, and friend and fellow musician, Irene Wilson.

Al Jolson  Scroll down the page to find David Selznick, producer of the 1940 Academy Award winning movie, Gone with the Wind. Both are guests at the Sherry Netherland Hotel.

Bert Lahr  Probably enjoying some of the fruits of his recent success as “the Cowardly Lion” in The Wizard of Oz, actor Bert Lahr was enumerated staying the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

Cole Porter  At home in his apartment at the Waldorf Astoria, Cole Porter’s lists his last residence as Paris, France. Following a fall from a horse that broke both of his legs in 1937, he was suffering from chronic pain that would plague him for the rest of his life, but he continued to work, writing several songs for the 1940 film Broadway Melody of 1940, including I’ve Got My Eyes on You and Begin the Beguine.

Washington DC
J. Edgar Hoover  Living alone at 413 Seward Square in Washington, D.C., Hoover, the FBI director, had been leading the bureau (formerly the Bureau of Investigation) since he was appointed director in 1924 by Calvin Coolidge, and he would continue in that role until his death in 1972.

Marvin Gaye  The census taker arrived at the Gay family residence on Marvin’s first birthday April 2, where Marvin was enumerated along with his father Marvin Sr., who was a preacher, his mom, Alberta, and one brother and one sister.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt FDR and Eleanor are in the White House, just where you’d expect them.


I found my parents on the 1940 census record and never knew the grandmother that saved my brother’s life lived with them. This is the house they lived in for the 1940 census. David was born at this home and they had two family doctors at the delivery. Both of them declared that David was dead just after birth. Mothers grandmother was there along with her mother and the old grandmother Nannie Anderson/Craig/Hall said “Oh no, he isn’t dead,” and she picked him up and spanked his butt and he started crying. I wonder who got paid for the delivery? Grandma saved his live. You can see a picture of Grandma Nancy Jane Anderson (Craig-Hall) in my tree. This is a picture of the my mother Myrtle Montgomery and David Montgomery (very much alive) taken not long after the 1940 census record.

I found my parents on the 1940 census record and never knew the grandmother that saved my brother’s life lived with them. This is the house they lived in for the 1940 census. David was born at this home and they had two family doctors at the delivery. Both of them declared that David was dead just after birth. Mothers grandmother was there along with her mother and the old grandmother Nannie Anderson/Craig/Hall said “Oh no, he isn’t dead,” and she picked him up and spanked his butt and he started crying. I wonder who got paid for the delivery? Grandma saved his live. You can see a picture of Grandma Nancy Jane Anderson (Craig-Hall) in my tree. This is a picture of the my mother Myrtle Montgomery and David Montgomery (very much alive) taken not long after the 1940 census record.