Like last year, content growth is again a focus for Ancestry.com in 2010. During last weeks press junket, content manager Gary Gibbs talked about new records coming to the site in 2010:
- US vital records, digitized in partnership with state archives. They include vital records from Vermont (1908 to 2008) and Delaware (1800 to 1933); divorces from Connecticut; and the Hayes Library Ohio Death Index.
Gibbs said that respondents to a lengthy Ancestry.com customer survey chose birth, marriage and death records as the resource theyd most like to see, and 1861 to 1914 as the time period most important to their search.
- Seven state censuses were released last year; look for more this year.
- US county land ownership maps were originally slated for release in 2009, but Gibbs team decided to key the records in a more useful but time-intensive way, delaying the launch until 2010.
- Enhanced 1920 US census records and index, similar to the improvements announced in December to earlier census collections.
- A 1950 “census substitute” consisting of city directorieshelpful to reverse genealogists seeking living relatives, and to beginning researchers.
- 1880 Defective, Dependent and Delinquent (“DDD”) schedules. These supplemental census schedules provide details on individuals with disabilities or who were institutionalized. Surviving records are currently scattered among libraries and state archives. (Can’t wait until they go online? Download our cheat sheet to DDD schedules and their locations.)
- Index improvements to the 1790-to-1840 head-of-household censuses will key the tickmarks indicating household members sex, age ranges and status as slave or free, so youll be able to search on these parameters.
- The site will add 700 million more names from voter lists to the US Public Records Index database.
I asked about the 1940 censuswhether itll be indexed and online when the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) releases the census to the public April 2, 2012 (the official April 1 release date is a Sunday). Gibbs said NARA will digitize the 1940 census, but couldnt say much else except that Ancestry.com is intensely interested in the project.
Look for tips on preparing for the release of the 1940 census (as in determining enumeration districts, not making sure your tailgating gear is in shape) in the May 2010 Family Tree Magazine.