1940 Census United States - I Don't Know the ED from the 1930 Census

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I Don't Know the Enumeration District from the 1930 Census

To locate your ancestor in the 1940 Census, you need a name index or you need to know the Enumeration District where your ancestor lived.

Check the 1940 Census Status Map to see if the state where your ancestor lived has been indexed. 

If your ancestor did not move between 1930 and 1940, you can convert the 1930 Census Enumeration District to the 1940 Census Enumeration District.

Follow these steps:

Step 1 Search the 1930 Census

  • From the search results page, click on the entry for your ancestor.
  • Click on the image.
  • In the top right corner of the census page you will find the Enumeration District number. It will be 2 numbers with a dash (i.e., 17-3). Write down the number.


  • Note the street address for your ancestor. The street is written sideways in column 1. The house number is listed in column 2 for your ancestor's household. 

Step 2 Use SteveMorse.org To Convert the 1930 Census Enumeration District Number

  • Under the phrase, "If you know the 1930 ED for this location, enter it here," fill in the fields with your ancestor's state and the Enumeration District number you found in Step 1.
  • The correct Enumeration District numbe(s) will appear below the phrase, "1940 ED numbers corresponding to your location"
  • Click on the first Enumeration District number listed making sure the box directly below is checked for "1940 Census Pages".
  • A new tab will appear. Under "Select the viewer you want to use," click on "FamilySearch Viewer."  This will take you to the 1940 Census digital images on the FamilySearch.org website.

Step 3 Use the Enumeration District Number to Search the 1940 Census

  • On the FamilySearch.org website, you will see a description of your Enumeration District. Click on this link to take you to the census images.
  • You may see a card listing the Enumeration District number instead of the actual census image. In the top right corner, click on the arrow to advance to the next page. Advance in this manner until you see a 1940 Census page.
  • If you don't know the address of your ancestor, search column 7 for the name of your ancestor starting at the top of the census page going down. Continue searching each page of the Enumeration District until you locate your ancestor. If you do not locate your ancestor in this Enumeration District, your ancestor may have moved between 1930 and 1940. Search for your ancestor in other records created close to the time the 1940 Census was taken to locate another address.
  • If you know the address of your ancestor, scan column 1 to locate the name of the street. It is written sideways. If the street is not listed on this page, click on the arrow to see the next census page in the Enumeration District.
  • Continue searching each page until you locate the correct street.  
  • Once you locate the correct street, look for the house number in column 2.
  • Once you locate the correct house number, your ancestor should be listed in the household. If you ancestor is not listed at the address, your ancestor may have moved between 1930 and 1940. Search for your ancestor in other records created in or near 1940 to locate the correct address.