If you’ve been unable to find your ancestors in US census records on subscription genealogy site Ancestry.com, it may be time to try again. The site just released enhanced images and/or indexes for six more census.
Added to upgrades implemented a few months ago, that means improved images for the 1790 through 1900 censuses, and better indexes for the 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1900 censuses. In all, that’s 200 million improved census records.
Ancestry.com’s new indexes and images are a result of a resource-exchanging partnership with FamilySearch announced in 2008. FamilySearch provided Ancestry.com with its census images; Ancestry.com gave its index to FamilySearch volunteer indexers to use as a “first draft.”
Digital enhancements and higher-resolution images have given the records a cleaner look. In some cases, you can read names that were previously illegible because they were too light, dark, blurry or faded, or were obscured by something such as tape.
Here’s a before (left) and after (right) from the 1860 census; see more examples on Ancestry.com.
Improvements to the 1910, 1920 and 1930 census collections are the works.