11 March 2009

U.S Census Basics

The first U.S. census was taken in 1790 and thereafter every 10 years. The first census records listed the name of the head of household and had columns where tally marks were entered representing other family members. It wasn't until the 1850 census that the names of every member in the household were listed. Also included were columns for age and birthplace. Every census after added more columns and more questions. Occupation, value of personal and real property, are also among the questions asked. The 1880 census includes the relationship of every person in the household to the head of household. The 1900 census asks the birth month and year, years married, and children born to the woman. This census also include naturalization and citizenship information. Census records are publicly available up through 1930.

Now the most important advice about census records is to find every census during your ancestor's life time. This method of research will help you get a complete look at your ancestors life.

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