FamilySearch Indexing: US—1940 Federal Census, Project Updates

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Presentation - How to Index the 1940 Census

Percent Completion of Each State

Image Type:

You may download a blank form—(The image is a form with no information filled in except perhaps some header information entered at the top of the form, but has no names recorded.) Mark this as a Blank Image in the Header area and submit the batch.

You may download a duplicate image. Please index – do not mark as duplicate.

Number of Household:

At times the enumerator switched columns 3 and 4, putting an R in column 3 and the household number in column 4- index the number from column 4

Do not confuse the house number (which is recorded in column 2 of the census form) and the number of household (which is recorded in column 3 of the census form). In this project, you will index only the number of household—the number in column 3.

If you need to capture the Household Number and/or the Surname from the previous image and the image is a duplicate, or the numbers are not in the proper sequence, mark these fields blank.

When there is only a T in the number of household field, mark the field blank.


Indian Clan names are not indexed.

Do not index middle initials in the Title or Terms field. Middle initials should be indexed in the Given Names field.

Do not index the Supplemental names at the bottom of the Census sheets.

Do not index example names at the bottom of the Preliminary Population Schedule.

If a name has been crossed out index the information in that record, (even if "Error" is written in the line).

Do not index numbers recorded in the name column unless it is a title such as 2nd, etc., which would then be indexed in the Title and Terms field.

Titles and Terms:

Indian Clan names are not indexed.

If any titles or terms, such as Mr or Mrs, were included in the census entry, index them in the titles or terms field. Type titles or terms exactly as they were written on the census entry. For example, roman numerals (such as "V," for 5th), should be indexed in the Titles and Terms field, exactly as they were written in the census entry.

If no titles or terms were recorded in the census entry, do not type anything in the Titles or Terms field; just press Tab to skip the field.

Military rank: If no rank is recorded in column 7 (Name) do not enter a military rank from column 28 (Occupation) in the Titles and Terms field. Tab past the Titles and Terms field.


If a relationship was recorded as "Wife-H" in column 8, do not index the "-H"; just type Wife in the Relationship field.

If relationships in column 8 were abbreviated and you can determine what the abbreviation stands for, type the complete word instead of the abbreviation. (For example, type Daughter if "DAUG" was recorded in column 8).

When there are numbers in the Relation Column (instead of relationships) mark the field blank.


If a person such as a son or daughter are listed and the name and relationship do not match the gender recorded- the gender can be corrected.

Color or Race:

If only a code number has been recorded for a race, mark the field <Blank>

Marital Status:

"Sep" in the marital status column - enter M.

Often, an entry was crossed out, and a code number was added to the census form. Ignore these code numbers, and index what was originally written in the census field. For example, the letter "M" in column 12 (Marital Status) may have been crossed out, and the code "7" added to the field. In this case, type M in the Marital Status field of the indexing data entry area, and ignore the "7."

Place of Birth and Residence Fields:

If the information in these fields is not a geographical location, such as a naval vessel, type the information exactly as it is on the document, but put all information in the city field.

If "Same House" or "Same Place" was recorded in column 17, 18, or 19, index that word or phrase in the City of Residence field, and use Ctrl+B to mark the County of Residence and State of Residence fields as blank.

If both R and a city are listed in the City of Residence column enter the city only.

If Same House/Same Place is written in the Place of Birth column enter exactly what is on the document.

If Same House/Same Place/Same City are on the document and the enumerator wrote place names in the County and State field, Blank the County and State field- unless it is a child under 5 then all fields are blank.

Do not enter a place name taken from the header information at the top of the document if it is not recorded in the column.

Same house/place written across all three residence fields- index only in the city and mark the other two blank.

Street Addresses are not indexed.

Entries such as Alberta Canada that are recorded in the residence field - Index both place names in the field for the column where they are entered, separated by a space.

The City of Residence Field may contain entries such as "inst" or "R" “Naval Academy”, etc., enter what is written.

R and same house written in the residence City field- If there are places in the county and state fields- please index the R- not same house.

If Canada French or Canada English is recorded index only Canada.

If a location such as Eire is recorded type what is on the document.