Trying to find a family member

How to Search Census Records
Contents:
  1. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
  2. How to locate lost friends and family members
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  4. Trying to find a long lost relative?
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If your family moved during the depression years of the s, you may not know their home in One of the unique aspects of the census was to also capture residency information for each person on April 1, If you have evidence supporting an address in , but not , try browsing images in this area to see what you might find.

Milton Bradley in the U. Census records. Many countries conduct a periodic count often called an enumeration of the population for one reason or another. In the United States, the first census of the population was conducted in and has been taken every ten years since.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Early U. Others living within the household were merely represented by counts for age, gender, and other categories. As the U. To address concerns about the confidentiality of information collected for each individual, the U. In previous decades, microfilm rolls were made available at regional archives to satisfy the demand from family historians and other researchers.

The U. Federal Census was conducted using a census date of April 1, Therefore all census data specific to an individual was restricted until April 1, Once the year privacy restriction is met, population schedules become the responsibility of the National Archives and Records Administration.

How to locate lost friends and family members

Fact: The census was the first U. Search tip: You can examine all members of a household and their relationship to one another, as well as the neighboring families in the community. It is common in U. Many larger cities had and still have clearly defined neighborhoods dominated by families of one ethnic or religious origin.

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Previous generations of family historians may have found census records difficult and time consuming to use. Even though finding aids and surname-based indices were created, microfilm-based census research required patience and persistence. Advances in computer technology have greatly expanded the availability and usefulness of census records, even for those just starting out. After the transcription is complete, the resulting database serves as an electronic index to the entire set of records.


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Both digitization and transcription provide significant research benefits, but each can also introduce certain challenges. Browsing census records can be a useful strategy, especially for those who have many family members living within a defined geographic area.

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Trying to find a long lost relative?

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