1940 US Census Image - Source Citation


I am using the following format for the source citation for 1940 US Census Images - I've written about this at my blog, http://destinationaustinfamily.blogspot.com/2012/04/source-citation-format-for-1940-us.html.

Source List Entry Example:

First (Full) Reference Note Example:

  • 1940 U.S. census, _________ County, _______ [State], [Location], population schedule, enumeration district (ED) _____, page __ [(stamped)] or sheet __ [(handwritten)], dwelling __, family ___, line ____, [Name of Person]; digital image, Archives.gov (http://1940census.archives.gov: accessed ________ [Date]); citing NARA microfilm publication T627, roll _______.

Subsequent (Short) Note Example:

  • 1940 US census,[County], [State]. pop. sch., p. ____ (stamped), dwell. ____, fam. ___,[Name of Person].

So for Royal Hoar (yes, his real name), who was married to my great aunt Margaret MacEntee, I have:

  • 1940 U.S. census, Ulster County, New York, Ellenville, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 56-87, p. 1168 (stamped), dwelling 207, family 92, line 35, Roy Hoar; digital image, Archives.gov (http://1940census.archives.gov: accessed 02 April 2012); citing NARA microfilm publication T627, roll 2796.
  • 1940 US census ,Ulster. New York. pop. sch., p. 1168 (stamped), dwell. 207, fam. 92, Roy Hoar.

Submitted bykinfoliton Tue, 04/03/2012 - 20:14

Isn't there supposed to be a space between the URL and the colon? That's just so important, you know, mainly because persnickety people like me go berserk when we don't see it there. ;-)

Submitted byEEon Tue, 04/03/2012 - 21:04

Madaleine, you raise an important point about that space between the URL and the colon. More than persnicketyness is at stake here. If that extra space isn't added, then the colon can be mistaken for part of the URL. (And it will be, by many.)  

It is true that, traditionally, citations for print books don’t put that space between “place of publication” (the print equivalent of the URL) and the colon. But a space at that point is already standard in the library cataloging world.

Submitted bylovegenealogyon Tue, 04/03/2012 - 22:51

How would you handle the household number for the transient schedule where the enumerators were instructed to put a "T"? I was thinking to use the line number instead since the entire page is the enumeration of a single hotel, so the head of household name and household number (T) aren't particularly useful for locating the individual in question who is down on line 16. Which then, of course, led to yet another question. He's physically enumerated on line 16, but three lines (individuals) above him are crossed through and "Extra Line" written on the left-hand side. The enumerator appears to have considered these as skipped lines (although he didn't physically renumber the lines below) because the supplementary questions are asked of the man who would have appeared on line 14 if the three lines hadn't been skipped. I'm thinking to use the printed line number anyway, since the enumerator didn't renumber the other lines, just to avoid confusion (that is if I decide to use the line number instead of the household).

On a related note, is there any need to note the special enumeration since the sheet number (e.g. 81A) already points to this and the pages are consecutively stamped, thus the fact that it is a transients enumeration isn't really necessary information for locating the page?

At least I have the challenge of attacking a somewhat special case for my first 1940 census citation :-)

Kimberly Powell

Kimberly, what if you noted the discrepancy in line numbers in the same way we note stamped and penned page numbers: for example., line 16 (printed), line 13 (actual enumerated persons)--or something of the sort. I agree with Harold about not citing the special enumeration, because it doesn't impact the way you access the information.

Submitted bytmacenteeon Wed, 04/04/2012 - 08:13

Also on the colon issue - more for online writing (blogs, websites, etc.): if not for the space, a long URL then with a colon and more text could create a long line with no way to "break it" for word wrap purposes.  Purely technical I know but I've seen this happen many times.

Submitted byhhendersonon Wed, 04/04/2012 - 17:33

Kimberly -- You did get a goodie! FWIW I would use the printed line numbers, and not include the special enumeration notation in the citation. Obviously it's of great interest as information. -- Harold

Submitted bylovegenealogyon Wed, 04/04/2012 - 17:50

The 1940 census, I think, will be full of opportunities to challenge our thinking :)  Now I'm looking at a schedule in Los Angeles where the enumerator didn't feel the need to include household numbers at all. I'm trying to decide if I should include the street address or line number as an alternative. Interestingly, the street address is repeated on two different pages -- one page has the owners of the home and the other has "caretakers" in a "private home" renting (or maybe just residing since "renting" and "owning" were the only options) at the same address.


Submitted bymhaiton Sun, 04/08/2012 - 16:26

I would be in favor of using the line numbers, because these are consistently printed on the forms. The problem with using street addresses--as I expressed elsewhere in another discussion on this very subject--is that many rural areas do not have street addresses. This may not be a problem if every household discussed lies in a city and includes street addresses. But if even one of them does not have an address, then you are forced to go with another option--likely to be line numbers at this point. Then you find yourself with inconsistent citations: one format for towns/cities, and another for rural addresses. In my opinion, consistency is a vital aspect of source citation formats.