12 Jan 2011 Leave a Comment
Census research is an important part of genealogical research especially when building family group sheets. Using the U.S. Federal Census allows researchers to help prove, disprove, and collect information on ancestors. These documents have been around since 1790 and are enumerated every 10 years. Records can also be searched for the same surname in the area in which your ancestor lived to possibly link new family together.
What information is available?
A U.S. Federal Census typically contains these items:
- Street Address
- Age or birth month and year
- Immigration and naturalization information
- Home ownership
The enumeration forms vary year to year. Additional fields that are included in some census years are:
- How many children born to mother
- How many children still living
- Veterans status
- Mother tongue
- Does the person speak English
- Employment information: status, how many days unemployed, occupation
Tips on using the census
It is important to start with the most recent census available and work backwards. Work with what is known to the unknown basically. Record all the information you find each enumeration on an extract sheet or in your family tree database. Note the source, where the information came from, so you can refer to it easily again if needed. Search on spelling variations because census takers did not always spell the names correctly or when the record is indexed to be searched online, the transcriptionist wrote it down the way she saw it which may not be the same way someone else sees it.
Where can I find the records?
Records can be found online at several paid genealogy services such as Ancestry. The National Archives has the records on microfilm. Family History Centers, major research libraries, state archives and state libraries are all places to check.
So what are you waiting for? Start researching your ancestors in U.S. Federal Census Records today! Their stories are waiting to be told!Tweet