Here's my list of searches that I'll be doing first, once the 1940 census is available. I'm most interested in looking for individuals who would have dealt with life changes during this time, or those that I couldn't find in the 1930 census.
- Grandmother, Betty Huyler. Betty was born in 1931, so this will be the first census she appears in. And I have no idea where I'll find her. Is she with her mother and step-father, or will this be one of the times when she was left with her grandparents? Or perhaps 1940 is when she was living in the children's home? Oddly, I'm hoping for the last, because I'd really like to find out more information about the children's home, which Betty didn't even know the name of.
- Great-Grandfather, Mack Huyler. I couldn't find Mack or his soon to be wife, Ruby Waters, in the 1930 census, which was taken a year before their marriage. Mack left home in 1932 and claimed to have spend 15 years as a hobo. He could be anywhere! Though I do know that he requested a SSN in 1937 while living in Augusta, GA.
- Grandmother, Sarah Britt. Sarah grew up in Emanuel County, Georgia, but at some point moved with her father and other relatives to Elbert County, Georgia. Which location will she be at in 1940?
- Great-Grandparents, Nathan and Ledora (Barfield) Britt. This couple "separated," with Nathan remarrying later. I hope that the 1940 census might give me some insight into the timeline of their marriage. If they are living apart at this time, will they be listed as married or divorced? Where will their children be?
- Grandfather, Thomas Craft. In 1939 Thomas left his CCC post in North Carolina and returned home to Elbert County. Probably. Will he be living with his parents? Or perhaps his uncle, Paul Craft? I know that Paul was a witness at Thomas's wedding and that Thomas worked as a sharecropper on his uncle's farm, ultimately purchasing the property. I'm very interested in the location of Paul's farm in the 1940 census.
- The children of Milton Waters. Milton was the brother of my Great-Great Grandfather, Leverett. I've had trouble researching this family beyond this generation, as well as trouble with Milton who died at an unknown date, possibly between 1920 and 1930. I think I've found his children in 1930, but can't confirm it. I'm hoping to have better luck locating Ben, Ida and Marie Waters in the 1940 census and, through them, find more information on Milton.
Some aspects of the 1940 census will provide more insight into the lives of our ancestors than ever before.
- Who Told? This census will tell us who provided the information for each family. This will help determine how accurate the information is.
- Education Level. This census moves beyond indicating if each person can read or write. This year requests the highest grade level completed.
- Employment. Due to the Great Depression, there are a lot of questions about employment, from simple to detailed.
- 14 & 40. A number of questions from previous years are missing from the general questions (ex. birthplace of parents), but two individuals on each page will be asked more detailed questions about their parents, language, marriage and veteran status.