TSGS Cruiser Blog

Friday, April 24, 2009

Research Tips

Find Your Parents in
the 1940 Census Substitute
From Ancestry.com Monthly Update - March 2009

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.
PLEASE NOTE: Ancestry.com is a subscription site that charges an annual fee!
I have included this as it is a good research tip to substitute other sources for census or other unavailable sources of information. Many libraries will have some of the communities city directories which often includes the surrounding area. Willard Library has an excellent collection of the Evansville City Directories that go back far into the 1800's (Willard also has surrounding community directories!). I have used the Evansville directories and it is a great source of similar data to a census and is an annual report of the changing status of the family.
-Submitted by JGWest

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