Census records can give you a plethora of information for your genealogy research. Not only can you find the standard information on your ancestor like their name, age, birthplace, and residence; you can find so much more!
Depending on the census record, you can also find their address, their occupation, their parents’ birthplaces, their citizenship status, their year of immigration, their marriage info, their military service info, how many children they have, others living in the household and their info, the value of their home and personal belongings, and more!
In this series, I will be focusing on the 1850 to 1950 U.S. Federal Census Records, and today will be starting with the 1850 Census.
The 1850 U.S. Census: This was the first U.S. census that listed EVERY (free) household member by name and had detailed categories, and it is one of the best starting points in genealogy!
This census included ALL household members’ names; their ages, sex, color, and place of birth; whether they were deaf/mute, blind, insane or “idiotic”; whether they were a pauper or a convict, whether any of the household members were married or attended school within the year; the occupation of all males over the age of 15; the literacy of each over the age of 20; and the value of any real estate owned.
The relationships of each person in the household were not shown, so be careful assuming the young ones were children; they could have been nieces, nephews, laborers, children taken in, etc.; the same also goes for any others listed. 😉
Depending on where and by whom the census was taken, this census isn't always filled out consistently, but if it is, then you have a lot of details to help you in your research! Make sure you document EVERY detail you find on the census, because EVERY detail/clue helps in genealogy! 😉
Follow my other posts on the U.S. Federal Census records below, to help you in your research, and under the Genealogy Records category:
The 1950 U.S. Census: A Post War Snapshot into the Lives of Our Ancestors!
The 1940 U.S. Census Record in Genealogy: Reflecting on the Great Depression
The 1930 U.S. Census Record in Genealogy: A Closer Look
The 1920 U.S. Census Record in Genealogy: A Closer Look
The 1910 U.S. Census Record in Genealogy: A Closer Look
A Closer Look at the 1900 U.S. Census in Genealogy Research
The 1890 U.S. Census: A Tragic and Sad Loss!
The 1880 U.S. Census: A Closer Look at the Even Better Census!
The 1870 U.S. Census: A Closer Look
The 1860 U.S. Census: A Closer Look
Check out more information about the U.S. Census on the National Archives and Records Administration website!
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