Family History for Beginners Census Records

Family History for Beginners-Census Records, one of the best kept records of our country. The census records from 1790 to 2000 are loaded with family history. Yes, there are errors,
and maybe a fib or two. We must remember that people in prior centuries were not all well educated and writing may be difficult to read.

Any errors in census records could be do to wrong information given, such as the wife giving information on her husband. The wife could have given the incorrect first name of her husband's mother or father or both. The same goes for the husband, if he is giving the information on his wife's parents. Take all given information with a grain of salt until proven correct or incorrect.

The first item you must know about census records is: what state, county, and township did your ancestor live in. With computers you can go online and do your genealogy searches at: or you can go to Heritage Quest Online. has most census indices but Heritage Quest Online does not. On Heritage you must know state, county and township for your ancestor.

Then you must go through each page and look for your ancestor. One good thing about searching each page is you will possibly find other people with the same last name.

Should the census record show that they are living a
couple houses apart, then it is good possibly that they were relatives.

There is, they have some census records on line.

From 1790 to 1840 only the head of the household was listed. The family members were listed by gender and by age. Male category was first, age groups were age: under 5, 5 to 10,
10-15 yrs, 15-20- etc to age 100 years. The same for the females in the house hold.

The 1850 Federal Census is the first one to give much more information and is excellent for doing genealogy searches. The 1850 census list every member of the household and any
boarders. The age of each person is listed, occupations, place of birth (state from) of each person living in the household. Also shown: value of real estate, married within year; in school within year, cannot read or write.

The 1900 Federal Census gives even more information for ancestry search. A few additional facts that are shown on the 1900 census: month & year of birth, age, marital status;
number of years married, number of children born to mother, how many living. Place of birth of both parents, year of immigration, when & if natuaralized citizen.

Note: The 1790 Census contains information on these states: Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

Do to a fire at the National Archives in 1921, the following states are the only states, that can be searched for census record information for the year 1890.

Alabama, District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota and Texas.

I was rechecking in Ohio and I find that only Clinton County and Hamilton County can be searched in 1890.

Check this new page:

1940 Federal Census.

Keep on working your family history for beginners and soon you will be an expert.

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