02 April 2012
What I Found So Far in 1940
It's been 12 hours since the official release of the 1940 Census and I've managed to download 2 EDs. I've spent many other hours searching for the rest to no avail. And it's not because I don't know where they are or I can't find them, it's because the census is too popular for its own good.
The National Archives created a lot of hype regarding the census release and, as the Ancestry Insider predicted, it crashed their website. From the minute the National Archive's website opened it was overloaded and difficult to use. The presentation during the opening ceremony didn't even work! About 45 minutes in the site went down completely. When it came back up it wasn't much better. Images do not load. Your best bet is to download the images. That is, if the download process will work.
Understandably a number of folks expressed their displeasure and frustration on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter - and I was one of them. As my mom can attest, I have zero patience. If someone tells me I can do something at a certain time, I expect to be able to do it. I completely understand that traffic to the site was insane, but that doesn't change my frustration level. Just being honest.
When I got frustrated with the Archives site, I switched to Ancestry.com. They had managed to add a few Pennsylvania Counties, home to my brother-in-law's family. I found his grandfather and his parents, which I sent to my sister. I wasn't really too surprised that my brother-in-law was 'blah' about the find.
Back the Archive's site: they did make an effort to improve access from minute one. I honestly think they thought they were prepared. And I was going to say that their efforts have helped only a little, but just now I re-ran a search to great success. I'm currently downloading ED 73-1 and ED 52-24. Things are looking up!