Posts Tagged ‘US Census’

Finding My People in the US Census

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Just past a very small Idaho city called Arco (of some international scientific fame), but not all the way to a hamlet called Moore, is a place the locals call Lost River. It’s probably called that because the Big Lost River flows through. It’s actually not a big river, and sometimes it doesn’t even flow to, let alone through, the little valley. When it does, it gets lost out in the desert somewhere downstream, between Arco and Idaho Falls. It just flows into the ground.

My mother’s people in Lost River are more constant than the river. So I thought I’d try looking them up in the US Censuses at

In the 1930 Census

First, I found them in the 1930 Census. In the image below, in household #8, Ross O. Babcock is my mother’s father. Bertha A. Babcock is her mother. Agnes J. and “Baby” Babcock are her older sister and brother, respectively. My mother isn’t there, because she was born in 1931. (more…)

News: 1790-1940 US Censuses at WorldVitalRecords!

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

WorldVitalRecords is pleased to announce the release of US Federal Census indexes and images from 1790 to 1930, about 520 million names in all. Add these censuses to our 1940 US Federal Census index and images, and subscribers can now search the largest and most important set of US genealogical records with ease at

Census records document almost everyone who lived in a country when the census was taken. They often include names, ages, addresses, birthplaces, occupation, literacy, and other information. This information can open the door to many additional discoveries about your ancestors.

For more information about the US Censuses, see “What’s in a US Census?” at the WorldVitalRecords blog.

Search the US Censuses at WorldVitalRecords

What’s in a US Census?

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

If you are looking for ancestors who were born in or emigrated to the United States, US Census records are one of your most valuable tools. They don’t provide precise records of births, marriages, or deaths, but they offer a wealth of clues to these events and valuable information as to where and how ancestors lived.

Every 10 years since 1790, the US government has conducted a nationwide census. Officially, the census’s purpose is to insure each state, based on its population, an equitable allocation of seats in the US House of Representatives (US Constitution, Article I, Section 2). But the census does more than just count heads. The government also gathers other information from each person and household — in fact, a slightly different set of information in each census. This data facilitates various types of research by government, businesses, and other entities. Family historians use it to find ancestors, discover where they lived and when, and to gather clues for further research.

The US Census Bureau publishes many different kinds of information, based on the latest census, but, to protect privacy, the actual census records are not released until 72 years after the census. So the 1940 US Census was released in 2012. (This 72-year rule has not always been in place; see below.)

Here’s a quick survey of the US Censuses which are already available, with notes about what was asked; the reported population; a few morsels of history, politics, and technology; and one big fire.

To see notes about a particular census, skip the proper heading below; they’re in chronological order. To see how the census evolved, start with 1790. If what you really want to do right now is search the censuses for your ancestors, follow this link to the WorldVitalRecords US Census collection.