Difference between revisions of "1940 Census - Enumeration Districts"

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[[United_States_Census_1940|1940 Census]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png|RTENOTITLE]] [[1940 Census - Enumeration Districts|Enumeration Districts]]
[[United States Census 1940|United States 1940 Census]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png|RTENOTITLE]] [[1940_Census_-_Enumeration_Districts|Enumeration Districts]]  
== Enumeration Districts or EDs  ==
== Enumeration Districts or EDs  ==

Revision as of 23:01, 13 March 2012

United States 1940 Census RTENOTITLE Enumeration Districts

Enumeration Districts or EDs

An enumeration district (abbreviated, ED) is a geographical area. Each enumerator is assigned one ED to collect census data on individuals living in the ED. In each state, an enumeration district is given a unique number including two different numbers separated by a dash (i.e. 15-1). The first number is the assigned number for the county and the second number is for each ED within the county.


An enumerator, also called a census taker, was the individual that gathered census information by going house to house in their assigned enumeration district. The enumerator was a paid position and they were given strict instructions on gathering the information about each individual living in the United States during a specific period of time.  For the 1940 Census enumeration, the enumerator had either 2 weeks or 30 days to obtain information from each individual.

For example, the enumerator was instructed to “Enumerate all men, women, and children (including infants) whose usual place of residence (the place where they “live” or have their “home”) is in your district, including persons temporarily absent” on April 1, 1940. A complete list of instructions to enumerators for the 1940 Census.

Why are Enumeration Districts (EDs) Important?

The 1940 Census will be released on April 2, 2012 WITHTOUT a corresponding name index.  Without an index, EDs are essential in locating a specific address or the town where your ancestor lived. If you have an address for your ancestor, knowing the ED numbers that cover that street can narrow down the area you will search line by line for the specific address.  If you have the town where your ancestor lived, you can locate the ED number(s) covering the town so you can look through the ED(s) line by line.

There are several tools on Steve Morse’s website to help you locate the correct ED:

Converting Between Census EDs in One Step – if you have an ED from a previous census such as the 1930 Census

Obtaining EDs for the 1940 Census in One Step (Large Cities) - If you have an address for your ancestor

Finding ED Definitions for 1940 in One Step – If you know the town or township your ancestor lived in

NOTE: Once you have the correct ED, you will need to search each page of that census ED to locate your ancestor.