Steve Morse is well known for producing a series of great tools for genealogists at his One-Step website. Now he has added a new tool to assist with the 1940 U.S. Census. Like all his other tools, this one is available free of charge.
Last week a new 1940 Census tool was added to the Census section of the One-Step website (http://stevemorse.org). It's called the Unified 1940 Census ED Finder (http://stevemorse.org/census/unified.html). Here's some background so that you can appreciate why this tool is necessary and what it does.
As you know, the 1940 census when released on April 2 will not have a name index, and probably won't have a complete one for at least six months. In the interim, the only way to access the census is by ED. That means that researchers will have to determine the EDs for their locations. And the largest collection of tools for doing such is on the One-Step website.
The One-Step 1940 ED tools consists of the Large City ED Finder, the ED Street Finder, the ED Definitions tool, the 1930/1940 ED converter, the ED Map tool, and the Census Tracts tool. That's a daunting number of tools so, to make life simpler, a Tutorial Quiz was recently introduced (yes, another tool) that guides the user through a series of questions and recommends the appropriate tool based on his answers.
But the Tutorial Quiz takes time and understanding, and most researchers would like to just jump in and find their ED. That's what the Unified ED Finder allows them to do. They simply enter on the form as much of their location as they know. The tool then makes the decision as to which of the other One-Step tools is most appropriate, and takes the user directly to that tool with the desired ED (or perhaps a small number of possible EDs) displayed. And each ED so displayed contains a link to the census images for that ED, although the links will not be operational until April 2.
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