July 24, 2014

Learn US History through the Census

Game of Life

 

Remember the board game LIFE?  Archives.com has put its own spin on this family favorite that experienced a revival in the 1960s.

(Quick Quiz: 1. What  year was the game of LIFE created?
Bonus: 2. What was the original name?)

 

We recently discovered this cool, interactive webpage for learning more American Family Thru Timeabout U.S. history through census facts. It’s called The American Family Through Time and you can “play” it here free at Archives.com.

This clever page uses census data to show how American life has changed over the course of 220 years (and 23 censuses). You can click on decade-by-decade summaries on the “gameboard.” In addition to the census questions, you’ll find some fun now-and-then comparisons for housing, education and occupations. Great for kids of all ages!

Quick Quiz Answers:
1. 1860
2. The Checkered Game of Life

Bookmark and Share

Family History Episode 11 – Census Wrap-Up: Decade-by-Decade to 1790

Family History PodcastOriginally published 2009

Republished December 17, 2013

Download the Show Notes for this Episode

Welcome to this step-by-step series for beginning genealogists—and more experienced ones who want to brush up or learn something new. I first ran this series in 2008-09. So many people have asked about it, I’m bringing it back in weekly segments.

Episode 11: Census Wrap-Up: Decade-by-Decade to 1790

In our first segment we welcome back genealogy researcher, author and lecturer Lisa Alzo. The author of Three Slovak Women, Baba’s Kitchen and Finding Your Slovak Ancestors talks about discovering family traits and putting them in perspective.

Then in our second segment we wrap up our three-episode coverage of U.S. census records with a decade-by-decade overview of censuses from 1880 back to 1790. We talk about special schedules taken during one or more censuses: mortality, slave, social statistics and supplemental, agricultural, manufacturing and the DDD (Defective, Dependent and Delinquent) schedules.

 Updates and Links

For a list of online resources for U.S. federal census data, check out the show notes for Episode 9 at http://tinyurl.com/ShowNotesEp9. More links you’ll want for this episode include:

Bookmark and Share

Family History Episode 9 – Using Census Records

Family History: Genealogy Made Easy PodcastOriginally published Fall 2008

Republished Dec. 3, 2013

Download the Show Notes for this Episode

Welcome to this step-by-step series for beginning genealogists—and more experienced ones who want to brush up or learn something new. I first ran this series in 2008. So many people have asked about it, I’m bringing it back in weekly segments.

Episode 9: Using Census Records

In this episode we start off by talking about a group of records critical to family history research in my home country: U.S. Federal Census Records. You’ll learn not only what to find in the regular schedules, but about the enumerators, the instructions they followed, and special sections like the economic census.

Then in our second segment we go straight to the source: Bill Maury, Chief of History Staff at the U.S. Census Bureau. I’ll be talking to him about the History section of the Census Department’s website. Note the updated Genealogy tab on the site, as well as the Through the Decades tab, which is packed with historical information for each census.

Updates

Since the show first aired, the 1940 U.S. Census has become publicly available. This was the largest, most comprehensive census taken, with over 132 million names of those known as the “greatest generation.” Full indexes and images are available at several sites. Your first stop should be the National Archives’ official 1940 census website to learn about the census itself. Then search it at your favorite genealogy data site in one of the links below.

Finally, I gave you specific instructions in the podcast on searching the 1930 U.S. Census online at Ancestry.com. To specifically search any of the U.S. censuses (or any other record collection) at Ancestry.com, go to the Search tab and select Card Catalog. You’ll see several censuses among the options they give you, or you can enter keywords like “1940 census.”

Links

Search U.S. censuses online at:

Ancestry.com

Archives.com

FamilySearch.org

findmypast.com

worldvitalrecords.com

OR Learn more about researching from microfilm at the National Archives website.

Bookmark and Share

FamilySearch Updates Include VA Pension Cards, South American Records

FamilySearch recently added another 192 million+ images and indexed records from North and South America and Europe to its growing FREE online collections. In the list at the bottom of this post you’ll find content from Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Spain, Switzerland, the United States, and Wales.

Notable collection updates include the 314,910 images from the Spain, Province of Barcelona, Municipal Records, 1387–1936,

Sample image from "United States Veterans Administration Pension Payment Cards, 1907-1933." Index and images. FamilySearch. https://familysearch.org : accessed 2013.

Sample image from “United States Veterans Administration Pension Payment Cards, 1907-1933.” Index and images. FamilySearch. https://familysearch.org : accessed 2013.

collection, the 576,176 indexed records from the United States Veterans Administration Pension Payment Cards, 1907–1933, collection, and the 189,395,454 indexed records from the United States Public Records Index.

Here’s an example of a V.A. pension card, created by the Bureau of Pensions and Veterans Administration to record payments to veterans, widows and other dependents. FamilySearch describes the cards this way: “On the front of the cards for invalid veterans are recorded the name of veteran, his certificate number, his unit or arm of Service, the disability for which pensioned, the law or laws under which pensioned, the class of pension or certificate, the rate of pension, the effective date of pension, the date of the certificate, any fees paid, the name of the pension agency or group transferred from (if applicable), the date of death, the date the Bureau was notified, the former roll number, and ‘home.’ On the reverse side of the form appears the name of the veteran, his certificate number, and the record of the individual payments. The army and navy widow’s cards are similar to the invalids’ cards with the addition of the widow’s name and occasionally information regarding payments made to minors, but they do not indicate if the veteran had a disability.”

Collection

Indexed Records

Digital Images

Comments

Brazil, Mato Grosso, Civil Registration, 1848-2013 0 126,870 Added images to an existing collection.
Brazil, Minas Gerais, Catholic Church Records, 1706-1999 0 827 Added images to an existing collection.
Brazil, Pernambuco, Civil Registration, 1804-2013 0 94,516 Added images to an existing collection.
Colombia, Catholic Church Records, 1600-2012 0 111,526 Added images to an existing collection.
Peru, Puno, Civil Registration, 1890-2005 0 176,918 Added images to an existing collection.
Spain, Province of Barcelona, Municipal Records, 1387-1936 0 314,910 Added images to an existing collection.
Switzerland, Fribourg, Census, 1839 0 2,552 New browsable image collection.
Switzerland, Fribourg, Census, 1842 0 2,851 New browsable image collection.
Switzerland, Fribourg, Census, 1845 0 3,062 New browsable image collection.
Switzerland, Fribourg, Census, 1850 0 2,968 New browsable image collection.
Switzerland, Fribourg, Census, 1860 0 20,530 New browsable image collection.
Switzerland, Fribourg, Census, 1870 0 22,554 New browsable image collection.
U.S., Alabama, County Marriages, 1809-1950 324,971 690,459 Added indexed records and images to an existing collection.
United States Public Records Index 189,395,454 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection.
United States Veterans Administration Pension Payment Cards, 1907-1933 576,176 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection.
United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 644,004 0 Added indexed records to an existing collection.
Wales, Court and Miscellaneous Records, 1542-1911 0 84,676 Added images to an existing collection.

 

Bookmark and Share

Find Canadian Ancestors in Censuses from 1825 to 1921

canada_peg_figure_12111If you have Canadian kin, you’ll be pleased to hear that the 1825 census of Lower Canada is now searchable online, and the 1921 census will soon be available online, too!

The 1825 census of Lower Canada counted nearly half a million people. Heads of household were actually named, with other members of the household counted by category. You can search by household name or geographic location.

The 1921 census counted 8.8 million people in thousands of communities across Canada. According to the Library and Archives Canada Blog, the population questionnaire had 35 questions. The census also collected data on “agriculture; animals, animal products, fruits not on farms; manufacturing and trading establishments; and [a] supplemental questionnaire for persons who were blind and deaf. This represents a total of 565 questions.” The census was released this past June 1 from the national Statistics office to the Library and Archives. That office is processing and scanning the nearly 200,000 images for public use. It hopes to have them posted soon.

Here’s a sample page from the 1921 census population schedule:

Canada Census 1921 image

We think of Canada as a real melting pot today—or salad bowl, as they prefer. That wasn’t always the case. The 1825 census of Lower Canada counted mostly Europeans of French extraction. In 1901,  70% of Canadians claimed either British or French heritage. But in the first two decades of the 1900s, a huge immigration boom occurred that reached well beyond England and France. So the folks who show up on the 1921 census represented a newly multicultural Canada!

Start looking for your Canadian ancestors in the Library and Archives Canada’s popular Census Indexes, which include that 1825 census and a new version of the 1891 census, too. Watch the website for the 1921 census.

If your family arrived in Canada after the 1921 census, check out the website for The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, where a million immigrants landed between 1928-1971.

Bookmark and Share

1950 Census Locational Tool Project for Genealogy

line_woman_aha_9775Hands up, who wants to help prep the 1950 U.S. census for us all to explore?

The 1950 census won’t be released to the public for seven more years, but it took just longer than that to create the locational tools that millions of researchers have used to find their families on the 1940 census.

The dynamic duo of Steve Morse and Joel Weintraub, who produced the locational tools for the 1940 census on the Morse One-Step site, are recruiting 200+ volunteers to help transcribe enumeration district definitions and create urban area street indexes for the 1950 census.

Their “job description” for these volunteers sounds really meaty and hands-on: “These projects aren’t for everybody. Volunteers should have basic computer skills, typing skills, have access to the Internet, be detail people but not perfectionists, be independent workers and able to follow instructions, be patient enough to handle large amounts of information, and be comfortable with projects that may take weeks or months, not hours, to accomplish. You should be able to handle and manipulate images (jpgs) of maps and Enumeration District (ED) definition scans. A large computer monitor would be desirable but not essential. We will provide instructions for carrying out the work, and a place to ask questions. Volunteers may use some free programs to help speed up the entry process. We expect volunteers to make steady progress on their assignments, and we have the luxury of time right now to do it well.”

Learn more about the project here, and try the 1940 One-Step locational tools here.

 

 

Bookmark and Share

How the Census Will Change in the Future

Genealogists in search of their family history have reaped great rewards from census records being digitized and made available online on websites like Ancestry.com.

In the future, Americans will have the option to respond to a ‘digital’ enumerator – the Internet.

According to CBS News “For the first time, the Census Bureau is giving U.S. households a chance to respond to government surveys over the Internet, part of a bid to save costs and boost sagging response rates in a digital age.”

Read the rest of the story here.

 

Bookmark and Share

National Archives Genealogy Workshops on YouTube

Is the National Archives a research frontier you haven’t conquered yet? Well, that frontier just got a lot easier to tame. The Archives has released its own series of expert how-to videos on its most in-demand topics on its YouTube Channel at http://tinyurl.com/NARAGenie.

The Know Your Records series introduces you to the creation, content, and use of valuable records created by the federal government. You’ll be able to make new inroads into your own American ancestral frontier along the trails of military, Freedmen’s Bureau, and other records groups when you check out new workshops like these:

  • Access to Archival Databases for Genealogists (runs 55 minutes). This is an introductory level-discussion of the more popular parts of the 27 genealogically-interesting series of electronic records in the Archival Databases run by the National Archives. Learn the mechanics of searching these data files directly online.
  • Army Service in the Civil War (runs 1 hour and 2 minutes). Learn to research Army service records of Civil War soldiers on both sides of the war. This video covers two major record groups: RG 94, the records of the Adjutant General (or chief record-keeper) for the Union Army; and RG 109, comprised of the Confederate records that survived the war and were turned over to War Department.”
  • Documenting Death in the Civil War (runs 1 hour and 22 minutes). Learn how the War Department documented both Confederate and Union soldiers’ deaths on the battlefield, in military hospitals and prisons.
  • Exodus to Kansas: The 1880 Senate Investigation of the Beginnings of the African American Migration from the South (runs 1 hour and 5 minutes). Learn more about the journey and experience of thousands of refugees from the Reconstruction-era South to Kansas as shown in the 1880 Senate investigation of this mass migration.
  • Let No Man Put Asunder: Freedmen’s Bureau Marriage Records (runs 1 hour and 12 minutes). Learn more about marriage in the African American experience and specifically how to research African American marriage records within the Freedmen’s Bureau collection (1865-1872), the “richest and most extensive documentary source for investigating the African American experience in the post-Civil War and Reconstruction eras.”
  • National Archives Records on Ancestry.com (runs 56 minutes). Learn from Ancestry’s own lead family historian, Anastasia Harmon, what National Archives records are available on Ancestry and strategies for searching for your ancestors on this mega site. She digs into much-used (but not always well-used) record groups like the U.S. federal census records, passenger arrival lists, border crossings and passport applications.

Of course, many of us don’t have known Civil War or African American ancestors. But everyone can learn from the first and last lectures on the list above (even if you only use Ancestry.com at your local library). So start exploring these free workshops, and soon you’ll be navigating the frontiers of your own American ancestry.

Bookmark and Share

California in the 1940 Census

Archives.com and other community project partners recently announced the release of the California 1940 census index, and have provided a neat infographic highlighting California in 1940.

I was particularly thrilled to see the searchable California index released because my parents and all my grandparents were in the state , working farms and just a year away from going to war and building ships for the cause.

Enjoy!

1940 census archives.com

Bookmark and Share