Using U.S. Census Records Effectively

Some helpful videos that explain how to analyze the U.S. census records


The U.S. census was taken every 10 years starting in 1790, and they can currently be searched on various genealogy sites from 1790 to 1940. Census records can be a great genealogical resource because they can lead you to so many clues about your ancestors.


The following video from Ancestry.com gives a great overview about using the basic facts in census records, as well as looking at them more carefully to learn more insights about your ancestors and their families. She also explains why you want to find them in every possible census that you can.



Sometimes it can be difficult to locate your ancestor in the census records because of name spellings or other reasons. This video gives 10 tips for finding census records if your search is coming up dry.



The census records from 1790 to 1840 did not include all of the members of a family and the information listed was limited. However, there are still valuable clues there to find if you know how to analyze them. The following videos gives you more information in analyzing the early U.S. census records.




One of the biggest challenges of the U.S. census is that the 1890 census has mostly been lost. So what can you do to fill the 20 year gap in the records? This video gives a few ideas of how to work around this challenge.



Census records give information about the living, but they can also give clues about deceased spouses and children also if you analyze them carefully. The following video explains how to do this.



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