My Account Catalog
1940 Census

The 1940 U.S. Census for New York State is now available fully indexed on! Indexes are also available for Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennesee, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia. Access to is free inside the Local History & Genealogy Division of the Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County. Access from home requires a paid subscription.

Go to the official 1940 Census Web page 

On April 2, 2012, the National Archives and Records Administration released the 1940 U.S. Federal Census. It is available digitally...and for free! Several genealogical Web sites, including and, are creating full household name indexes, but it is not clear how long this process will take or when the indexes for the states not mentioned above will be available. If you don't want to wait until the indexes are available, the Monroe County Library System has several resources available to help you locate your ancestors within the Census. The first thing you will need to do is determine the Enumeration District (ED) your family lived in at the time the Census was taken. To determine this, you will need to know the street your ancestors lived on and the cross streets nearest to their address. The Local History & Genealogy Division has two sources that can help you get started.

To locate City of Rochester residents, start with the recently digitized 1940 Rochester City Directory. The main part of the volume is organized alphabetically by last name, making it easy to locate your family. Once you have a street address, you can then go to the House Directory at the back of the book, which is organized by street and address, to determine the nearest cross streets. This information will also be valuable if you cannot locate your family in the index when it becomes available. By locating neighbors' names, you may find your family nearby.

The Library also has digitized the 1940 Suburban Directory, which includes the towns of Brighton, East Rochester, Fairport, Gates, Greece, Irondequoit, Pittsford, and Webster. It includes town maps and a complete household and street guide, similar to the City Directory.

Once you know your ancestors' street and nearest cross streets, you can use one of the following ED locators to indentify their Enumeration District:

For general information about the 1940 census, including instructions on how to use the digital version and frequently asked questions, visit the National Archives:

View the blank form used to gather data for the 1940 Census.

Go to the official 1940 Census Web page

Alternative sites for free access to the 1940 Census:

Sites that currently have Monroe County records available:

You can also access the 1940 Census via for free on the patron computers in the Local History & Genealogy Division of the library. ( ended free public access to the Census on April 10, 2012. Now you will need to have a paid subscription to access it from home.)