Re: 1940 Census questions #general

Joel Weintraub

A question arose yesterday on finding two families in Brooklyn at the same
address but on separate pages on the 1940 census.

First, if the researcher had used Google maps, and gone down to a street
view, they would have seen the residence in question. Assuming it's the
same structure as 1940, you would see it is a duplex.

Second, readers should know that the number of pages in a 1940 census
district is **not** the same as the sheet numbers. So a census sheet has an
"A" and "B" side. Sheet 1A is page 1, Sheet 1B is page 2. But it gets more
complicated than that for 1940.

Our utilities for finding census districts by location on the
site, correctly gave the right census district for the family the researcher
was seeking in Brooklyn. But when they got to that ED (enumeration
district) and did not find their family the first time they arrived at the
sheet that had that address, they gave up. If they had continued to look
through the ED, or better yet, jumped to Sheet 61A and higher, they would
have found their family without waiting for a name index. So what is Sheet

The enumerators were given instructions on how to number the sheets. If a
family was not at home, they either left a postcard asking for a later
appointment or/and left a preliminary blank census sheet to be filled out
and the enumerator would pick it up later. The enumerator's instructions
were that those followups were to be put on Sheet 61A and higher. In
addition, the enumerator on April 8th, 1940 was told to go to areas where
transients would be found (hotels, flophouses, Hoovervilles), and those
people were put on a labelled Sheet 81A.

Thus you could have a situation for an ED that contained 3 sheets (6 pages)
and Sheets 1A and 1B could contain the usual first route of the enumerator,
the 3rd page could be 61A which contained followups, and the 5th page could
contain transients (81A).

Joel Weintraub
Dana Point, CA

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