Genealogist Dan Lynch will present a program on the soon-to-be released 1940 U. S. Census at the Silas Bronson Library Wednesday, April 11th at 10:00 a.m. and again at 1:00 p.m. The Waterbury native has been consulting closely with the Church of the Latter Day Saints (the Mormons) in Salt Lake City for the last year in preparation for what is considered the biggest thing to hit the U. S. genealogy market since the Ellis Island passenger lists in 2001. To be released on April 2, the census will be the first presented digitally by the National Archives and it boasts some very notable features that Lynch will discuss.
The release is expected to be a huge media event, garnering significant coverage in the U. S. and abroad and Lynch will be serving as the church’s spokesperson for the launch and will be featured on most major morning news programs. Loyal to his Waterbury roots, however, (his is the founder of greaterwaterbury.com, the ultimate guide to everything local) Lynch will be volunteering his time to his hometown library to present a program on the 1940 census to both amateur and professional genealogists. The programs will be free and open to the public. No advance reservations are necessary.
When Lynch began researching his Irish and Italian heritage in the pre-internet era of the late 1970s and 1980s, he was fascinated with, but challenged by the search for census records, passenger lists, and naturalization papers. Research often involved hours at libraries or archives scanning rolls of microfilm or inspecting original ledgers. His high-tech background has provided a strong foundation as an entire industry has been transformed by digital technology and online collaboration. A long-time consultant to The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Lynch notes their popular index of 25 million passenger arrivals, created by volunteers more than a decade ago, is the largest and most significant example of “crowd-sourcing” to date.
Lynch is also the author of the award-winning book Google Your Family Tree. For more than three decades, he has pursued his family history – first as a hobby and since 1998 as a full-time profession following a successful career in technology marketing. He is a Life Member of both the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) and the Connecticut Society of Genealogists, as well as a member of the Genealogy Speakers Guild. He is a popular International presenter, frequently sharing his passion for family history and understanding of technology with others throughout North America, Europe, and Australia.
In 2006, after several days of research at L’Archivio di Stato di Campobasso in the southern Italian region of Molise, he achieved a life-long goal of connecting with members of his extended Italian family. Pinning down his Irish roots has proven to be a greater challenge, but he is optimistic that recently-digitized records will help.
On a personal note, Lynch points out that the 1940 census is the first to include his parents as young children and to list his immigrant Italian ancestors as American citizens. He won’t be able to view his own name in census records until the 1970 census is released in 2042 when he will be listed as an 8-year old. He credits his passion for family history to the American Bicentennial celebrations in 1976 and Alex Haley’s Roots just six months later.