The Road to the 1940 Census: In Search of Your Family History

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The NYG&B, the New York Public Library, and the National Archives at New York City host a full-day program at the NYPL to prepare researchers for the April 2 launch of the 1940 Federal Census. Released only once every ten years, censuses are a bedrock resource in genealogy, providing a wide range of information on people and the times they lived in. This program will provide perspective on the importance of this powerful research tool and in-depth insight into making the best use of it.

Speakers include the most authoritative experts on this subject, on one day, in one place.

Dr. Robert Groves was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed as Director of the U.S. Census Bureau in 2009. At the time of his nomination, Groves was a professor at the University of Michigan and director of its Survey Research Center, as well as research professor at the Joint Program in Survey Methodology at the University of Maryland. Groves has authored or co-authored seven books and scores of scientific articles, and he is the recipient of numerous awards in recognition of his contributions to the development of economic statistics. He will provide an overview of the role and history of the Census Bureau.

Constance Potter is without question the nation’s leading authority on the 1940 Federal Census. The Senior Genealogy Specialist at the Research Support Branch of NARA in Washington, DC, she focuses on federal records of interest to genealogists. Her reputation as the subject’s expert and her delightful lecture style is widely known.

Meldon J. Wolfgang III, FGBS, will demonstrate how careful study of the Federal census and its subtle features (which change from one census year to another) can lead to extraordinary learning. He explains how the census is a potent source for extracting genealogical information if the researcher is properly prepared and willing to make the effort. Mr. Wolfgang is well known for both his scholarship and riveting lectures. 

Suzanne Wasserman, a historian and award-winning filmmaker, is Director of the Gotham Center for NYC History/CUNY Graduate Center. She is an authority on New York City in 1940 and has published widely on a range of topics. The purpose of her talk, which will focus on New York City, is to give historical context to the vast amount of data in the census itself, and therefore insight into its meaning.

This program is free but requires reservations.

 Click here for more information.

Saturday, March 24, 2012 - 10:00am to 4:00pm
Bartos Forum - NYPL, Steven A. Schwarzman Building, Fifth Ave between 40th and 42nd
The NYG&B, NYPL, National Archives at NYC
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