Deep-dive into US census records and other population counts. From helpful research resources to clues about solving ancestor mysteries, our experts provide solutions to your toughest census conundrums.
Learn how to use census records to track your ancestry and build up your family tree in this self-paced, learn on your own (no instructor) online family history course.
Your forebears answered a surprising number of questions every 10 years. And buried in those census columns may be the key to an ancestral mystery.READ MORE
The date a census taker wrote on his form isn’t as important as the official census date: Enumerators were supposed to list individuals’ ages as of a date specified by the Census Bureau. January 1 was “Census Day” for the 1920 enumeration, so someone born Feb. 12, 1909, should be recorded as 10 on the census form—even if the census taker visited in April. This magic date varied, so use this chart to sort out ancestors’ reported ages. Click on the year to discover more about that specific census (if available).
Learn how to find census records online at the major databases, including Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.READ MORE
What’s the Soundex? The 1880, 1900 and 1920 US censuses—plus parts of the 1910 and 1930 censuses—all use this system based on sounds in surnames.READ MORE
The census provides great answers for genealogists, but also raises plenty of questions. Our genealogy experts weigh in on some of your toughest.
Learn how to find census records online at the major databases, including Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.