Free Three-Day Access to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census (Offer expires 05 July 2006)

The launch of the every-name index marks the completion of the U.S. Federal Census Collection at The massive project took over 6.6 million hours of labor and 21.9 billion keystrokes to manually enter the census names into the database.  15,000 rolls of microfilm–thirteen million original census images–were scanned and transcribed to complete the project.

To celebrate this milestone, is offering free access to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census for three days. Just visit and click through the census tour or click on one of the Census is Complete banners on the site.

*Act fast. Free access to the 1930 U.S. Census will expire soon.

6/23/06 NOTE: I’ve heard from a few people with questions as to how to access the free search. Here’s a bit more information:

The free period starts when you first access it. If you go to the homepage, you should see a window open up announcing the free three-day access and allows you to Start Here. If you bypassed the page and went straight to, you can still access the free 1930 census through the homepage.

In the upper right corner of the homepage, you should see a brown and orange ad with a green button that says “Dive In.”  Click on that and it will take you through a presentation that you can click through by hitting “Continue.” On that next page there is a green link to “Search Now.”  That will open a search box where you can search. When you find someone, click on that name and on the next screen you will see include the index entry and an option (to the right) to view the actual image.

Good luck with your searches!

6/26/06 NOTE:  I’ve heard from a few more readers regarding the free access to the 1930 census and need to clarify a few more issues.

To access the free three day trial, you need to allow Flash presentations. For those of you who weren’t able to access it through the homepage, try this link:

To navigate the census image, click on a portion of the image, and then, holding the button down, drag the image opposite the direction you’d like to view. (i.e., If you’d like to view further down the page, click on the lower portion of the image, hold the button down and drag the cursor up to the top of your screen.)

Please let me know if there are any other problems with the free access and I’ll post other solutions on this message as well.

6/29/06 NOTE: This free access is only available until 05 July 2006.

41 thoughts on “Free Three-Day Access to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census (Offer expires 05 July 2006)

  1. When are these three free days going to start? I haven’t been able to find the “Census is Complete” banner anywhere on the site! It is very frustrating.

  2. First time I tried I did see the green “dive in” button, put in the information I was looking for, asked to see actual census image and could not get the full page to open so I could not see the name I was searching for. I then closed out and went back to Ancestry and now I cannot find the “dive in” button any more. This is way too frustrating!!!
    Why can’t they set it up like they did when they had free access to WW1 draft records.

  3. I tried to access the 1930 census and a *black* (not blank) page appears after I click “start searching”. I haven’t heard this one before. Also, at the top of the black page it states, Census complete.

  4. Could not even see the whole page to find out if there was information on the page about my request on census

  5. we resarched the HIEBER family in the REMSTAL, between Lorch and Aldorf.

    We have a lot of information, but any thig is olwaxs open.
    Gruss B. Hieber

  6. I went to homepage but none of the markers that
    Juliana listed are there. It is very frustrating.

  7. None of the above stuff that you mention shows up on my monitor. Am I doing something wrong? I clicked on everything.

  8. Ihave tred so many different times to get to the census pages, but all I can get is a few lines of them and that is it. I sure cann’t find anything on that. All I can get to is that they want you to sign up and pay for it. If it is free, why can’t we get it on our computers so we can find what we want. This is one reason why I never want to pay for anything is cause I’m not to sure I will find what and who I’m looking for.

  9. Absolutely can not get to any marker or any link or any description that comes close to looking like what will get me there. No buttons, no green and brown and orange — nothing. I am so sorry to lose out on the opportunity.

  10. Im with the rest of the folks, I can’t get into anything that resembles a 1930 census form. By submitting this do we get some sort of reply or does this go out into cyber space and never addressed?

  11. I did two different requests. The first time I put Abington, Mass. as the town and state to search, I was taken to someone living in Fall River, Mass. instead. The second search the image could not be zoomed in far enough to make out the faded writing. The moving of the image in flash was frustrating, as it lacked control of movement it was jerky and too slow, compared to accesing it the usual way. When I log in at the town library, you can zoom in much further, movement control of the image is much better and faster.

  12. You told me to look for that black, green and orange banner on the Ancestry website, could not find it there as I said in a previous email then I noticed that it was on this website so I clicked on it and I got to a certain point and it told me that my three day trial was over! Before I even started it! If you say something is on a certain website, it should be there, we shouldn’t have to go hunting for it! Is there any way that you can fix this problem? Thanks, Beth

  13. Worked just fine, although I would have liked to have a copy of the images rather than having to transcribe them.

  14. Last night, I started my free 3-day (so I thought). Today, I can’t access any information. The 1930 census links keep referring me to a page that suggests I purchase a subscription.

  15. Can’t get anything except Ancestry wanting me to give them info for a 14 day free trial after which I would be charged a monthly fee. I clicked on every link you have listed. There’s no brown & orange ad, no “Start Here”, no “Dive In” button. I installed the Flash presentation and all I get is a scrolling census page. There’s no where to make a query. I even tried to go through Google. No luck anywhere — just brick walls.

  16. What do you do if you know where a relative lived in 1930 but they don’t show in any census; ie…1910, 1920, 1930?

  17. This is typical of They don’t live up to their promises and make a great attempt to con people for money. We all should be very carefull of dealing with Ancestry. they don’t have a very good track record even though they have time and time again tried to bluff the consumer into thinking they have the best of everything and they want us to think we are getting a bargain. They are way overrated.

  18. To D.S. Ford,
    Why don’t you try a little patience and wait for Ancestry to fix the problem instead of bad mouthing them!
    To Julianna,
    I did not get a call from Ancestry last night so I still don’t know how to get that three day free trial. Could you help me on this? I’d rather deal with them via email if possible. Thanks, Beth

  19. I have had no luck accessing the 1930 free Census on When my family name appeared, a large rectangular box covered the information I needed to see and I could not get rid of it. When I tried again, I never could get the information back again. I never did see the Dive in icon, but I received a page to access the free access from itself, but no luck.

  20. this is very exciting free access and also very frustrating but I have played around with it and have finally figured it and would like to pass on info if you are trying to figure it out.
    and be patient, everything is slow but worth the wait.

    1. when you get onto the free site and it is downloading ignore that little census picture you see in background, it is just a sample picture

    2. when it is finally 100 percent downloaded , you hit search

    3. put in the name and info

    4. you will get a bunch of records, no census.

    5. click on the one you are interested in and it will give you just a record, no census.

    6. if you want to see the actual census image on that person click on the census image icon.

    7. it will start downloading ‘your’ census image. ignore the census image you see that it is downloading that is just a sample and it uses that same census image no matter whose name you put it.

    8. once it is completed downloaded go to the little icon on right that says ‘ skip tutor’ or something like that.

    9. when you do that it will then bring up the census image to the person you are looking for.

    10. you will only see a small section of that image but you can view the whole image.
    to move the image to the top, to the bottom and to the sides,
    take your mouse and place anywhere on the image.
    you will see a hand.
    push the mouse button, hold down and push your mouse forward (to see what is on upper half) it will change to an arrow and jump up.
    do this to right and left and bottom. You will see all the image this way.
    Hannah P.S. when you first search and get the records prior to the census…save that, because when you try to get those records from as an unpaid searcher, they will only give you part of the info but on these records they give you birth and mate and if son or daughter and where living and so on. They don’t give you that on their website when you do a regular unpaid search so be sure to save that says you can email that record to someone so I just emailed the ones I needed to myself.
    have fun

  21. I don’t think that the July 5th cut off date for the free trial is very fair especially for those of us who were not able to take part in it. Maybe I’ll be able to do it next time.

  22. Ancestry has got us all ny the “u know what” They are so expensive and have tons of wrong information. Even when you start out on a FREE site you end up with Ancestry and you need to pay for it.
    And they don’t have complete census records. If they did then most of my family was away on vaction when they census taker arrived.

  23. Reluctantly, I must share the comments above about non-
    accessibility…. none of the links in the directions worked.. no window announcing the free three-day access with ‘Start Here’ button or box. On the ‘homepage’ – is that the same as home? if it is, I found it, but no separate tab,etc. for ‘homepage’. On home, no brown and orange ad with green button that says ‘dive in’. Nor was the url provided in the 6/26/06 effective; just took me to a ‘census’ site… which got me to a black page with a moving census image, which I could not control with the mouse. And since I hadn’t entered a name anywhere, what page was this? Couldn’t tell….Wish it had worked.

  24. How do I change my name from Mildred to Marilyb on the 1930 census. I have asked you for 5 years to see that it is changed and get no results taken care of. It is still wrong to this day. The writing on the census is smeared and has been misidentified. Would you please help me with this problem?

    Also, when I click in on the state, I always seem to get California instead of the state I have typed in. What is the problem?

  25. I haven’t tried. I didn’t know how to access it. I’ve read all the complicated directions, and the reports of frustration with it, and think I won’t even try.

  26. I had no problem accessing the images I wanted, but how do I print or save the image now?

  27. NO, I can’t find it either – I get the homepage, then “join ……..etc.” no where do I see “dive in”.
    I’ve wasted at least an hour trying all the hints – no luck.

  28. When the record you are viewing is continued on the next page, how do you get to that page if you don’t know any names that might be continued in that certain family.

  29. For those of you who are saying is a rip off, I can tell you that my research is years ahead of where I would be if Ancestry wasn’t available and all from the convenience of home.
    Anyone who has spent any time looking at census records knows the census taker couldn’t spell, handwriting was bad, paper is old, etc. and, transcribers can’t read unfamiliar names, get lazy, etc. none of which is ancestry’s fault unless they hired the transcribers. Judy

  30. If spent as much time making their “FREE” offers workable as they do setting up their ads for subscription, everything would be “hunky dory”! After 2 hours of struggle and absolutely no results, I am frustrated, disappointed, cranky, cross-eyed, and DONE WITH ANCESTRY.COM! I thought your company had a sterling reputation. NOT FOR ME!

  31. None of the links to the free access work….have tried all of them and get nothing.

  32. What a shame,

    You had the opportunity to persuade high-potential customers that you offer value to their family search. So many have been turned into negative word-of-mouth advertizing. Maybe it is time to reconsider your attitude toward the customer. Try reading Peppers & Rogers or Purple Cow for help. Consider becoming a partner instead of a salesman.

    You have such a valuable product, but you insist on abusing instead of serving. Have you been taking lessons from AOL?

    Shame on you & whomever is in charge of customer care! Please reconsider how your relationship with those of us, who value your data. Our lifetime value is far greater than the one-time transaction that your current marketing plan seems so intently focused.

  33. This free trial was very frustrating. I figured out how to get into the free trial with very little problem; but, I am very disappointed with what I see on the screen. I expected to see the complete image on the screen and be able to save a copy, just like at the library. Instead, I was forced to scroll around the screen to see all of the information and there was no way to save a copy of the whole image. A free trial should be just that–a trial of the real thing, not a stripped down version of it.

  34. Hello! Am trying to find out why our great grandparents moving to America? No jobs or no monies or wars or health problems?
    Germany, England, Sweden, Ireland and many more. How do I find the books about their histories so that I can explain them on the history books why our generation moving to America.

    Appreciate your comments to where I can find and buy the history books.

    Thank you for your service.

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