1940 US Census developments to note


12 April 2012
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The release of the 1940 US Census has generated a great deal of buzz in the genealogy community in the last week or so. Census im

The release of the 1940 US Census has generated a great deal of buzz in the genealogy community in the last week or so. Census images are available at several sites and MyHeritage released the first indexes. More will follow from all the sites hosting the census in the weeks and months to come.

There are two developments relating to the census release that are worth noting, however.

The first is an update to the MyHeritage mobile app for iPhone, Android and iPad, which allows users to search billions of historical records, including the 1940 US Census, on-the-go.    The new version 1.2 of the MyHeritage app also searches more than 22 million family trees, helping users with their family history research. In addition to searching historical content, the app allows users to take their family tree wherever they go. The MyHeritage app is downloadable from the App Store or Google Play (formerly Android Market).

The updated MyHeritage Mobile App is powered by what the company claims to be 'the fastest and most powerful family history search engine', MyHeritage SuperSearch. Packed with historical records obtained through the company's acquisition of FamilyLink, and user-generated information in family trees on MyHeritage, SuperSearch is expected to be launched with full capabilities in mid-April, to help family history enthusiasts break through brick walls in their research. MyHeritage has also been developing a facility whereby users can be automatically notified as relevant records from new datasets are released that match to individuals in their family tree.

My Heritage was the first commercial site to post all 1940 census images and the first to offer initial  indexes and is working hard to position itself as a major player among the commercial genealogy sites. 'It has been encouraging to see the huge mainstream interest in the 1940 US census. Anticipating this demand, we have created a fantastic online and mobile experience for families to discover their roots and satisfy their curiosity for the 1940 US Census,' said MyHeritage founder and CEO, Gilad Japhet. 'Enabling discoveries via mobile puts us firmly on the map as a serious provider of historical content. Our successful publishing of the 1940 US census and the enhanced mobile app are only the beginning – watch this space!'

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Family Tree will most definitely be watching MyHeritage in the coming months, especially as we have learned that the website is uploading significant volumes of UK data, which will soon be searchable.

The second development is called 'We'll find them for you' and is from findmypast.com - the new US site joining the findmypast global network. Simply visit findmypast.com, submit the name of the person you are searching for and the state they were living in at the time of the 1940 Census, plus extra details if you have them, and findmypast.com will email you as soon as the person’s records become available.

A full launch of findmypast.com is expected to happen in summer 2012. This will provide US customers with an extensive set of US records, in addition to a vast overseas collection, including a billion English, Welsh, Scottish, Irish, Australian and New Zealand records, plus millions of pages from the British Library's newspaper collection.