8 Reasons (and more…) Why Your Genealogy Research Needs Census Records

Introduction: What is a Census?

A census is a survey of a population, usually the whole population. This includes questions about age, occupation, household relationships, income and more.

Census records can provide a lot of information about your ancestors and their place of origin. It is the best source for information such as:

What was the occupation of your ancestor?

What were his/her living conditions?

How many children did they have and what was their gender?

Where did they live in relation to other family members?

How many years did they live in the same country, state, county, city etc.?

These are just a few questions that can be answered by census records and in my opinion is the best resource for building a family tree and making connections with distant relatives.

The most common type of census is the decennial census. This is conducted every 10 years and it helps to collect information about the entire population.

The United States Census Bureau has a number of different kinds of censuses to help collect information about the population living in the U.S. There are three types of census’s, the decennial census, a population survey and a sample survey.

There are two types of census’s in Canada: the National Census and the Regional Census. The National Census is conducted every five years by Statistics Canada to provide information about population, dwelling, language, etc. It is mandatory for all Canadians to participate in this census. The regional census is made up of smaller surveys that are done annually or biannually. The National Census is an extremely detailed survey that lasts for 10 days. However, these surveys can be completed in about 30 minutes. These smaller surveys are less detailed than the National Census but provide valuable information to the government.

A census record can provide a lot of information about your ancestors and their place of origin. It is the best source for building a family tree and making any connections to distant relatives.
Which Census Records are the Most Useful for Genealogists?

The most useful census records for genealogists in Canada are those taken by the British and British North American governments.

A census is a count and description of the population, usually of a country. They are conducted by a national census agency and typically happen every 10 years.

The most useful census records for genealogists vary depending on what you are looking for. For example, if you want to find your family members who were born overseas you would be better off using the Immigration Records. If you want to find out about your ancestors who were living in Australia at the time of Federation (1901) then it would be more helpful to use the Australian Census 1901-1921.

Ancestry.co.uk is the site that has the most complete census records for the UK, Canada, and Australia. The 1871 census records are one of the best starting points for any family historian because they are indexable and searchable online at Ancestry.co.uk for free.

There are five different types of records that you could find at Ancestry: birth, marriage, death, census, and wills. Some of these records will be more relevant than others depending on what you’re looking for in your family tree research journey.

In the US, the 1900 Census is one of the most popular records for genealogists. It was the first census to include questions such as place of birth, occupation, and marital status. The 1910 Census includes family relationships and age while the 1920 Census has a question about citizenship status.

It can be difficult to find out which records are best for each individual case. For example, if you want to search for a specific person and know their date of birth and last name, then the 1940 Census is your best bet. But if all you know is that they were born in America in 1912 then it would be better to use the 1900 Census because there was no 1940 census in that year.

Reading a Census Record?

Census records are a valuable resource when researching genealogies. They provide personal information of all the people living in a specific area at one point in time.

Depending on the country, the census is taken every 10 years, and in some cases every 5 years. A census is an official count of the population.

The following are some tips for reading census records:

1) When reading the entries, it is important to check for missing columns or rows. In many cases, not all columns/rows will be complete due to different reasons. The most common reason for this would be because the person was too young or too old to answer certain questions.

2) Columns with a “0” should also be considered when scanning through a record. If the column is not important for the topic, it should be left blank or have a “0” value. This is to keep the data organized and easy to read.

Why Should I Be Looking for Census Records In My Genealogy Research?

We should start with the census records because they give us the most accurate family data. They include our family members, their ages, birthplaces, occupations and other information that is often hard to find in other records.

The oldest federal census was conducted in 1790 and at that time there were only 6 states in the union. The next census was carried out in 1800 with 2 more states added to make a total of 8 states. The 1810 census was the first one to count all of the states except Vermont which refused to take part due to its small population size.

Census records are also good for finding where your ancestors lived because they list every person’s home county or state when it was recorded by officials at that time.

8 Fantastic Reasons to Use a Genealogical Census System in Your Family History Search!

In this section, we will read about eight reasons and advantages of using a census in your genealogy research.

  1. A census is a document that records the population and demographic information of a specific region. It is a list of all the people who live in one specific place at a given moment in time.
  2. Censuses are important for genealogists because they can provide vital information about ancestors, such as where they lived and what family members they had.
  3. Census records can also provide the last known date of an ancestor’s birth, marriage, death or immigration. In addition to that, censuses can be used to estimate an ancestor’s birthplace and occupation.
  4. A genealogical census system is a great way to organize and manage your research. It not only simplifies the process of finding and organizing information, but it also can make your research more worthwhile!
  5. Census systems typically work like this: you assign every family member (or important ancestor) a unique identifier. You then save all of their records in one file, which makes it easy for you to find them later on if you need to do more research on that particular ancestor or family member.
  6. Census systems can be as elaborate as you want them to be! Some people create detailed census sheets that include physical descriptions of each family member, occupations, birth dates and death dates, marriages and divorces – anything else they might want to know about their ancestors.
  7. Census sheets are a wonderful way to document the history of a family. They can be compiled for any group or organization and contain an extensive list of details about its members. Collections of this information have been used in the past to help people find their family members, research their genealogy, and discover more about their heritage.
  8. Ancestry.com’s new family tree feature, launched in 2016, allows individuals to add occupations, birth dates and death dates, marriages and divorces – anything else they might want to know about their ancestors. Others simply use it as a quick resource to quickly find the names of the parents or children of a person they’re researching.

Ancestry is a website where you can use census records to research your genealogical and family tree online. Ancestry lets you enter a name and find out family relations, immigration, military records, photos, and more.

How to Find the Year of Birth on a US Census Record?

The Census Bureau created the American Community Survey in 1997 to replace the census long form. The survey is an ongoing survey of about 280,000 households each month, so there may be a delay in reporting birth dates which are for babies born since the last update.

Disclaimer: The following information is provided as a courtesy and not as an official judgement from the US Census Bureau.

Value of Census Records

Census records are a valuable resource for genealogists. They provide information on where your ancestors were living, the occupations they held, their relationship to other family members and who their neighbors were. The census can also provide clues for finding land or property records that might not otherwise be accessible.

Conclusion: The Importance of the Census in Our Family History Search

The census is one of the most important and accessible sources for genealogy research. Census records provide a wealth of detailed information about our ancestors: their names, ages, birthplace, occupation, and residence.

Census records can be accessed through both online databases and on microfilm at your local library. In the US, the National Archives has digitized over 33 million pages of census records with more than 2.5 million images available for viewing on their website.

The census records are easily accessible for researchers because it is available online, searchable by county, state, year and township. The census records are the most useful tool in tracing back your family lineage.

Places To Search for Census Records

To help you along in your ancestral research here are some links to help you in your research for the US, Canada, the UK and Australia.

In the US – https://www.archives.gov/research/census and https://www.familysearch.org/en/blog/u-s-census-records

In Canada – https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/census/Pages/census.aspx and https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Canada_Census

In the UK – https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/census-records/ and https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/England_Census

In Australia – https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Australia_Census

Note: To assist you in your research below are more valuable links for census’s.

Canada Census Records Explained! on the Genealogy Guide website is an easy detailed and an excellent article to read.

In the U.S., About Census Records at the National Archives

Canada, Censuses at the Library and Archives Canada and download the PDF Tracing Your Ancestors. In Canada from the Collections Canada website.

In Australia, a good place to start searching for Census Records is from Public Records and the NSW Government – State Archives and Records

If you are a member of Ancestry, a good place to start is the ‘Census and Voter Lists’. Other places for censuses with paid & free to do some genealogical research are:

This blog is also available on discovering-your-past.blogspot.com

Published by Darrell Gibbs

A father of three children and five grandchildren who retired in 2015 and began a career as a non-fiction writer in genealogy resource ebooks for new family historians. Aspiring towards the future as a Historical Fiction Author of his premier book "Wessex Reign".

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: