Thursday, April 5, 2012

Another update on the 1940 census from

We have been doing live video demos all week to help people navigate the 1940 census. We archived those videos on our YouTube channel. We covered how to find an address for your family, how to use the enumeration district maps to determine the ED of that address, and how to browse directly to the images. Please feel free to share these videos when your followers and friends ask questions.

The 1940 census is attracting plenty of new genealogists to our ranks. That means our Facebook page is swarming with questions and comments from new users. Please help them feel welcome. Sometimes it may seem like we are answering the same questions over and over, but remember, for these people, this is brand-new information. Be welcoming! Be encouraging! (Plus, you never know when you may discover one of them is your cousin.) Also, be sure to check the Events tab on our Facebook page so you can join us for additional Livestream broadcasts and Tweetchats in the coming weeks.

Sticky Notes
If you haven’t visited our Sticky Notes blog, we invite you to do so. We’ve posted some tips and tricks for navigating the census images. Our employees have also been posting stories about who they are looking for and who they have found in the 1940 Census. Now, we want to hear your stories and if you have pictures of the people or places you are looking for, please email them to so we can post them to our 1940 Stories section and possibly to our interactive map, too. And if you haven’t seen the map, you’ll find it at

What’s Next
Once all images are uploaded, we’ll move the focus to creating a searchable index for all 132 million records. (FYI, this process has been underway since we picked up the images at 12:01 a.m. Monday) As soon as the first state is ready, we will let you know. In the meantime, we want to know what questions you have and what questions you are hearing from your friends and followers. Please submit them to and put “1940 FAQ” in the subject line. Based on your questions, we will create a Frequently Asked Questions document that can be shared.

Thanks for joining us on this exciting 1940 census journey! Now, try to get some sleep.

Crista Cowan
Community Alliance Manager,

Saturday, March 31, 2012

U. S. Enumeration District maps for 1940 census

The US Enumeration District maps for the 1940 census are already available here

1940 US Federal Census coming soon

The National Archives and Records Administration will open the 1940 U.S. Federal Census on April 2, 2012—the first time this collection will be made available to the public. Once we receive the census, we will begin uploading census images to our site so the public can browse them. Initially, this collection will be what we call a browse-only collection. This means a person can scroll through the pages of the census districts much like you would look at a microfilm or a book. At the same time, we will be working behind the scenes to create an index of the census that will eventually allow people to search for their family members by name as they currently can with all other censuses on Note also that the 1940 U.S. Federal Census will be accessible free of charge throughout 2012 on

Saturday, February 18, 2012

PA birth and death certificates

The PA birth (1906 only) and death indices (1906-1961) are at Cost is only $3 to obtain a copy once you find the State File Number in the online index.

Each index is separated by year and you can't do a keyword search, you must scroll down through each index but this is certainly a step in the right direction.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Andrew Carnegie Free Library in Carnegie, PA is the proud home to perhaps the most intact GAR Post in the nation. Long story short, the members of the Captain Thomas Espy Post left their artifacts and documents to the library. Sadly forgotten, the ceremonial room and artifacts were preserved over the years, locked away. In 2010, the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall received a donation to restore the Post to its original grandeur. This room is so unique -- as it is a snapshot of the esteemed GAR organization. Tours are free. The room is open every Saturday from 11 to 3, or by special appointment. More importantly, in terms of a genealogist, we have battlefield sketches and GAR applications online! This is a rare glimpse into the men of the Post: the men explain battles, wounds, close comrades, etc. This information is too good to keep quiet, so please help us get the word out! Below are links to different sites that provide more information about this very unique and rare national treasure.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Washington County newspapers online

Great news for those of you wanting access to Washington County Newspapers. You can now find many scanned images of several of the old Washington papers at

Washington Reporter: 1845-1985

Washington Daily Reporter: 1884-1896

Washington Semi-Weekly Reporter 1889-1891

Washington Observer 1851-1967

Washington Daily News 1918-1919

Washington Weekly Reporter 1883-1888

The search function doesn't work well so you really have to look at each paper but in just one evening of looking, I was able to find 4 obituaries for people in my family tree and 7 more for the Beallsville Cemetery website - and that was just in Jan - June of 1960 ! I'm excited that I don't have to travel all the way to Washington PA to look through microfilm (I detest microfilm). Hope this helps !

Friday, August 6, 2010

Memory Medallions for tombstones

This is a very interesting article on technology called a Memory Medallion that can be attached to a tombstone, accessed by a smart phone. The bar code directs you to a website that is constructed for the particular individual and contains photos, histories and even videos of the person. What an interesting way to memorialize a person.