The Investigators

Apr 2, 2012 8:36 PM

Investigating your family tree online

TUCSON -- The News 4 Tucson Investigators has put your family under investigation; your family history that is.

The census for 1940 went online today and it's free to use.

"I got curious about where we all came from."

Hal Hegwer has been investigating his family history for nearly 30 years. He started by asking his aunts and uncles lots of questions.

"They started telling me the stories. And the stories get you interested."

That's why he's excited about the 1940 census project. It used to take a lot of time and effort to learn about his history.

"Everything had to be done at the library or by mail."

Dan Lynch is a spokesman with the 1940 Census Project. They provided a satellite interview to the Investigators. He tells us 132,000,000 names are in the system.

"The 1940 census is a very historic one. First of all it's the first time that the National Archives has been able to use technology to release the census images immediately upon availability in a digital format via the internet."

And it was pivotal time in U.S. history; the depression finally came to an end and America was about to be drawn into WWII.

The 1940 census project will help you learn about the nation's history and your family history.

"My parents were married in June of 1940. And I'm kind of curios about where they were living and those kinds of things."

Hal hopes to fill the gaps on his wife's side of the family.

"There's a big blank spot from about 1920 to about 1945 after the war and this will help

For now you'll have to do some digging as thousands of volunteers enter the data from the images into the system which will take a few months.

"We're looking for an enumeration district of a small town in Iowa."

Still folks like Hal investigating their family history are excited about the project.

"Oh this is so much faster. There is so much information now online through various different sources."

Click here to go to the 1940 Census Project.

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