09 March 2012

Using OneNote to Prep for the 1940 US Census

I know, I know. All the hype lately has been on Evernote. I use Evernote, and I like it. It helps me. But for the 1940 US Census, I turned to OneNote. It just flows better for me.

So here is what I did. This may help you, it may not, but putting it all out there step by step helps me, so that's what I'm going to do.

I started with my Top 10, and created a new Notebook, simply called 1940 Census. Within it, I created a new page for each geographical area for my Top 10. There were a few goals that were simple, so I made a quick note for each on the page. (One thing I really like about OneNote is that I can write anywhere. My brain does not operate in list form, it's all over the place. So, my notes are too.)

Next, I went to http://stevemorse.org/ to use his One Step Tools (thank God for Steve Morse!). I used his Unified 1940 Census ED Finder tool to determine the Enumeration Districts for each city or town that I had previously listed. Then I just moved back over to OneNote, used the Screen Clipping tool, and *poof*! All those ED's were in my notes.

After watching the recent webinar by Thomas MacEntee on prepping for the big day (Navigating the 1940 U.S. Census), I decided to look at WWII draft cards for many of my individuals. Once found, and for some that meant going back through my paper records, and others it was searching online, I was able to again make a quick note on the geographical page for each person. Now I have their ED and their physical address all in one place. Hooray!

Then I thought... I don't want to have to toggle back and forth too much. So, I opened my genealogy database (I use Family Tree Maker 2010 right now) and did a screen clipping on just the vitals of each head of household I was interested in. *Poof* again!

I now have twelve geographic locations listed in OneNote. Some are tiny, with only one ED for the community. Some, like Birmingham, Alabama, have too many to count. I will continue to use the tools made available by Steve Morse and team to narrow down those as much as I can. I am thinking that before the census is actually released, I will have at least twice as many, if not more.

24 days and we're all counting!