HISTORY The Census has been taken every ten years since 1790 til 2010 Not released for general public use for 72 years after being taken For privacy reasons 1930 most recent 1940 comes out this year April 12th!!! Why? Accurate population count because the number of U.S. Representatives each state has is based on its population and this ensured we all are represented in the political process. In 1820, they added the ages between 16-18 for the males. They were counting the number of men eligible for a standing army. Used to help estimate the amount of taxes to be collected. Census takers, a.k.a. enumerators, were hired to go through the neighborhoods to take down information. Not always educated spelling mistakes, copying errors Skipped houses
PROBLEMS Missed families not at home multi-family dwelling bad weather did not answer for “government” man Some enumerators just didn’t go to the home – too far to get to, end of the day, etc…asked neighbor or just didn’t count that family Census Day - no matter what day the census taker came to the house he was to record data as if it were the day set aside by law for the census to begin. However, some Census takers did not follow this so it makes it difficult to know exact age. Incorrect information given. Who was giving info? Some schedules have been lost or destroyed. Poor filming.
ORGANIZE YOUR RESEARCH Choose family Work from present to past Write down names, ages in the different census years, marriage, birth, death You must know where they live in the census years – state & county Map Guide to the United States Federal Census 1790-1920, Thorndale, William and William Dollarhide (available in our reference department) Create at least 5 alternate spellings for each surname
INDEXES & IMAGES Indexes are not a record, only search aid Some are published – libraries or archives Ancestry or Heritage Quest online indexes Find and use actual census image Online – Ancestry Library & Heritage Quest Some repositories have them on microfilm We have Medina County Census from 1820-1930, WRHS has all census from 1790-1930 – less the 1890 Make a copy of the record If you unable to make a copy use preprinted forms (handout) Forms: http://www.ancestry.com/trees/charts/census.aspx Helps to write down all the information and the headings are easier to read. Cite your source on the copy or form - Evidence! Citation and Analysis for Family Historians – Elizabeth Shown Mills - Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace - Elizabeth Shown Mills. Copy the information exactly as it is in the census.
1890 Census Majority of this census suffered severe water damage due to a fire in 1921 in the Commerce Department Content similar to 1900 – different format One difference is the line for civil war veterans, Union or Confederate & widows of veterans. Some schedules survived Ancestry Library has 1890 census substitutes to search