My grandparents (Holly & Howard Dunaway) were no where to be found. I was looking forward to this census because it was the first one where they would have been a married couple and my great-grandmother Elizabeth Dunaway was living with them, she would die a few years later. I had no clue they would be hard to find. I knew they were in Texas, I knew my great-grandmother was still alive, although a widow, I knew my grandmother was either pregnant with or had just had my uncle. Yet - nothing, zippo. I was very bummed.
So, not to be defeated, I turned to my grandfather's trusty autobiography. The 50 page, hand-written text from about 1995 cracks me up! He has great stories from his childhood and writes such interesting things about his grandparents and school years up to college. The last page is literally - I got married, got a job, moved a lot, had two kids, now I have some grandkids. Ok, then! Let's not waste time on messy details. I did love that man!
Moved a lot he did. The beginning of his autobiography contains a chronology from birth (1909) to "present" day (1995). A subset of that chronology is "Moves During First 8 Years of Marriage". My grandfather worked for Humble Oil in Geophysics. While I'm sure it's not a record, they moved 23 times in those 8 years; 5 times in 1940 alone. All from small town to small town in Texas. No wonder the census taker couldn't find them. I have this vision of the tired government worker deciding to stop for the evening with the intention of getting to that last house on the block the next day - only to come back and find they had moved. That would be my family, one step ahead of the Man!
So alas, I have no record of Holly and Howard in 1940, but that's okay, I have many, many more records and memories to keep me company. Good luck finding your loved ones in 1940.