Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Family Tree Maker 2014 Download (FTM 2014)

I just noticed something that has had very little, if any, publicity from

Family Tree Maker 2014 is now available as a download. There is no more waiting for the CD to arrive in the mail, although the CD option is still available.  And if you download, you can also order a CD backup.

Notice that there is a choice of  a Ship It button or a Download button on the FTM 2014 order page.

Right now, FTM 2014 is 20% off.  Enter the coupon code G5JXTRY at checkout in the box marked Redeem Coupons for double savings and receive an additional 20% discount.

Download Family Tree Maker 2014

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

1940 Census Image Search Success

Success! I found family on the 1940 census ... at  The National Archives server still cannot handle the load.

Ancestry has begun the task of uploading all the census images, and they happen to be starting with states where my ancestors lived.  And they seem to be getting them up at a pretty quick pace.

Images are available for these states: California, Delaware, Indiana, Maine, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia.  Some of the US territories plus the District of Columbia are also completed.

Images for the Bronx, one of New York City's five boroughs, have been uploaded by Ancestry, so I thought I would look for family there.  I quickly found the Enumeration District at the ED Finder since I knew the address (found in an obituary) and went to to begin my search.  The ED consisted of 44 pages that I needed to browse to find my family.  I thought it would take forever, but I was able to find the family in a few minutes - on page 42 out of 44 pages.

My browsing method was simple.  I started at page one of the ED and enlarged the image so that I could read the street name in the left column.  I was able to click through each page fairly quickly by using the arrow button until I found the street the family lived on.  Then I just went down the street numbers until I found the family.

What did I learn?  Well, coming off the Great Depression, salaries seemed rather small.  One family member, at age 22 in 1940, was a typist who made $600 in all of 1939.  That's $50 per month.   I used the Inflation Calculator to calculate her salary in today's dollars and found it was less than $10,000.   I haven't had a chance to absorb all the other information yet.

There were many first-time questions in the 1940 census.
  • The first census that asked people where they lived five years before – providing the first information about the majority of Americans in mid-decade and how they kept migrating for work
  • The first census to ask people detailed income questions, providing a fuller and detailed picture of depression-era work and unemployment
  • The first census to ask if people worked for New Deal emergency government agencies –the Works Progress Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps

Be sure to check the bottom of the page for the supplemental questions.  One of my family members was selected to answer additional questions about Social Security, military service and more.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Attempting to View the 1940 Census

Like everyone else, I was looking forward to browsing the newly-released 1940 US census today.  

Because the census is not yet indexed, the only way to find your family now is by finding the census enumeration  district (ED) and then browsing all the pages of the ED.  To find the enumeration district (ED), you must first know the address - the complete address - not just the street.  At least that is the case for my family who resided in a big city.

I went to Steve Morse's excellent ED finder and followed the directions by filling in my great-grandparent's exact address.  With the ED finder, I was able to zoom in to the exact city block by adding cross streets.  It was really very simple.  However, when I clicked on the ED, I received an error message at the NARA site.  No surprise that the National Archives site is overwhelmed.  Hours later, it is still telling me that it is "preparing image".  I can see there are 34 pages of this ED for me to browse if I only I could get the images to load.  No word when this issue will be fixed.

So I went to  who is also offering the 1940 census for free.  Ancestry is in the process of uploading all of the census records and indexing them,  They have a number of states done, but not the states where my family lived.  Ancestry does have a sign-up and they let you know when the state you are interested in is completed.  The 1940 census will be free at Ancestry and  I had no problem loading the available census here. 

While at the Ancestry site, I noticed that they have their  1940 Era Records for FREE  through April 10.  This includes, surprisingly, the 1930 census, and many city directories that can help find the exact address needed to find the ED to enable browsing of the census. So, I think I will spend my time collecting exact addresses from the free 1940 Era Records at until I can actually view the census images.