User:Batsondl/Sandbox 6

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I Know My Ancestor Lived in a Big City, But I Don't Know the Street Address

To locate your ancestor in the 1940 Census, you need a name index or 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 the state index has not yet been completed, find your ancestor in a city directory to locate an address.  Then, determine the correct Enumeration District number for the address. 

Follow these stops to locate a street address for your ancestor: 

Step 1 Locate Your Ancestor in a City Directory

Your ancestor may be listed in a city directory. A city directory is an alphabetical listing of residents and their street addresses in a city or town.

City directories online:

City directories not online can be found at:

More information about City Directories

Telephone Books - a substitute
Some larger cities stopped producing city directories by 1940 and instead created telephone books. Unfortunately, only a portion of the residents had telephones.

Cities with 1940 telephone books:

If there is no city directory available for the city or town you are searching, use a substitute source to locate an address.

Step 2 Use to Determine the Enumeration District

  • Use the drop down lists to choose the state, county, and city or town where your ancestor lived.
  • Fill in the street address of your ancestor.  If the "number" and "address" fields are crossed, this indicates the website does not have your city or town and requires a different process.  LINK HERE.

Step 3 Find the Cross Streets for Your Ancestor's Address

  • Next, determine cross streets for your ancestor's address by clicking on "See Map" which opens a new tab in your internet browser and maps your ancestor's address.
  • Review the map looking for large cross streets around your ancestor's street address.
  • Once you have determined a cross street, click back on the tab to's website. Choose a street from the drop down menu next to "Cross or back street on same city block"
  • If the cross street option has not appeared on the page, you need to add a street address as described in Step 2.
  • You are now ready to search the Enumeration District for your ancestor.
  • If you would like to see what streets are in the Enumeration District, select "1940 Streets in the ED" in the box directly below and click on the Enumeration District number above.

Step 4 Use to Browse the Images

  • Type in the state, county, and Enumeration District number you found in Step 3 into the available fields directly under the United States map.
  • Once in the Enumeration District, you may see a card listing the Enumeration District number. In the top right hand corner, click on the arrow which will advance you to the next page.
  • Once you are on the 1940 Census page, scan the left side of page to locate the name of the street. It is written sideways.  Continue to scan the pages until you locate your street.  
  • Once you locate the correct street, look for the house number in the column directly right of the street column.
  • Once you locate the correct house number, your ancestor should be listed in the household if they still live there. If you ancestor is not listed at the address, you may have the wrong address. Check Other Sources for ideas

I Can't Locate My Street in this Enumeration District

There are several reasons why you may not locate your street in the the Enumeration District:

  • Incorrect Mapping of the Street Address - The mapping website may have incorrectly mapped the address. Use a different mapping website such as:
  • Incorrect Street Address Chosen - Reassess the street name to make sure you have the right street chosen from the dropdown list in Step 2. Streets listing north, south, east, and west maybe mis-represented.
  • Street Name Changes - The street your ancestor lived on may have changed since 1940.

My Ancestor Wasn't Living at the City Directory Address

  • Your ancestor may have moved between the time the city directory was taken and April 1940. Search for your ancestor in another record created close to 1940 to locate another address. Other records.LINK