the 1940 Census Substitute
We’ve recently released the 1940 Census Substitute with more than 2,000 city directories ranging from 1935 to 1945. This collection will help you research your parents, grandparents, and other relatives from the 1940-era, until the 1940 U.S. census is released in 2012.
Although city directories do not have quite as much detail about individuals as censuses—you’ll likely find heads of households listed, along with their address and occupations—they offer something more: a vivid portrayal of your family member’s neighborhood and community.
You’ll find physical descriptions of the town; what the primary occupations and industries were; the types of organizations, institutions, clubs, and churches that were popular; and more. At the very least, that ad for phonographs will take you back to a different time and place.