I would encourage readers to visit the FamilySearch 1940 Census Indexing site below to get a first hand view on a state-by-state basis on where things stand as well as at the status of the overall project from the perspective of the FamilySearch effort:
Overall the project is about 90% complete.
For Illinois, it is being reported as 96% completed as for indexing which should mean that access to indexed data for Illinois should be coming sooner rather than later.
You can still look at the images for the Illinois data even if it is not completely indexed.
You can hover your cursor over any state for the map of the United States at the above site to tell you the status of the state. If it is ready and able to be surname searched, it will tell you so. Click on the state and start your surname searching.
I actually experimented with California because my research has an unknown set of KIERNA ancestors that I know wound up in California. I am still not clear from which KIERNA branch they originated. When I searched California I discovered three KIERNA names, none of whom I am aware of and all of whom had been noted as being born in New York. I looked at the image and the name was perfectly readable as KIERNA and was transcribed as that.
So now I will have to put my thinking cap and figure this out. I am also suspect that the actual name may be KIERNAN even though it was actually written as KIERNA because there was no indication of a Polish connection which is where my ancestors are from.
SO WELCOME TO THE MYSTERY CLUB!
I am sure for you also, lots of new questions are arising from reviewing the 1940 Census.
This has been a major eye-opening event to think that the indexing of 132 million records is 90% completed within only approximately 15 weeks after the massive amount of data was released by the National Archives.
Everyone should take their hats off to the thousands and thousands of volunteers that have worked on such an enormous amount of data over such a short period of time!
Ann M. and Barb P. you two are those wonderful, super-volunteers that come to mind. Kudos to you and all the other volunteer indexers!
If you have not visited the site lately, take another look because the state you previously visited that was not indexed may now in fact be ready for you to index search.
This is certainly a success story of massive proportions and certainly can bode well for all kinds of continued indexing projects if so many motivated indexers move on to other indexing projects over and above the 1940 Census after the 1940 Census is completed.
Revisit the above site frequently to see where things stand.
Ancestry.com may have its own list of states that are at different levels of completeness. There are other places to visit outside of FamilySearch for the 1940 Census data.
I certainly hope the data you have been waiting for is now available to you for surname searching. If not quite yet, be patient. It will probably be available shortly. At least keep checking on the status.
Hoping all of your 1940 Census data searches are definitive and don’t give you more questions than answers!
Schaumburg Township District Library