Searching the 1940 Census is quite the snipe hunt…you have to know the address, or at least the general neighborhood, of the person you are searching for. My Uncle Marion, of course, remembers exactly where he lived when he was 8. So he was the first to find the Spencer family in the census:
I thought my Powell grandparents lived on Valley then, but apparently that was much later. They lived at 321 Valley all my life until Grandpowell moved in with us. However, in 1940, no Powells are listed on Valley at all, and all the families listed on Valley Street are African-American. So. Hmm.
On the other side of the family, my father in law is pretty certain they lived on the Dixie Highway in the spring of 1940. He is certain that is where they lived the day of the Pearl Harbor attack. I am still going through the pages for Elizabethtown, and although I can find his cousin, and several people I know he grew up with, I can’t find my Crowes or Logsdons. Yet.
When I get frustrated, I quit looking for a while and start indexing names. This is fun, easy and you can do it while listening to podcasts or music. Go to 1940 Census – Get Started (https://the1940census.com/getting-started/) to download the software. It only takes a few minutes to get up and running with it. You can choose which of the states you want to index but not the county, unless you are part of a specific organization such as a genealogy society that has volunteered to do their localities.
When you are done, some other volunteer “arbitrates” your entries, that is double checks it to see if what you saw is what was meant (some of the handwriting is excellent, some of it not so much.) Then the indexed data will be available at FamilySearch.org.