2014 by Donald R. Snow
Sections of the Class Notes
  • Welcome and Introduction
  • About Censuses
  • Websites With Census Information
  • Principles and Helps for Searching Censuses
  • Other Censuses
  • Conclusions and The Census Supplementary Notes
This page was last updated 2014-12-15.
Go to  Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group Home Page , Don's FH Class Notes Page , Don's FH Supplementary Class Notes Page .


  1. Instructor is Donald R. Snow (snowd@math.byu.edu) of Provo and St. George, Utah.
  2. These notes are on  http://uvtagg.org/classes/dons/dons-classes.html  and the  Census Supplementary Notes  are on the  Family History Supplementary Notes Page .
  3. Tips:  (1)  Creating icons, and  (2)  Saving your place in these notes
  4. The problem:  How to locate online censuses (federal, state, and church) to find, verify, and extend families.

  6. Censuses are very helpful in family history to show who was in the family, where they lived, and additional information  - where born, relationships, how long in the US, how many children, and occupations 
  7. Interesting things in censuses -- see Sarah Piersol's occupation, 1880 US Census, born about 1801 -- https://www.familysearch.org
  8. "The Census Book" by William Dollarhide, 1991 -- about US censuses; download the pdf from HeritageQuest Online; details on  Census Supplementary Notes
  9. Additional information, e.g. the dates the censuses were taken, the questions asked in each, privacy laws (72 years in US, 100 years in UK), etc., see Dollarhide's "The Census Book", the FamilySearch Wiki at  https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/United_States_Census , Ancestry.com, my Census Supplementary Notes , and many other resources.

  11. FamilySearch Historical Records collections -- https://www.familysearch.org/ -- all US, British, and Canadian census images and indexes; some have links to images and indexes on Ancestry 
  12. Ancestry -- http://home.ancestry.com/ -- list of Ancestry's censuses and indices at  http://search.ancestry.com/search/CardCatalog.aspx#ccat=hc%3D25%26dbSort%3D1%26filter%3D0*35%26
  13. HeritageQuest Online -- all US census images and many indexes, but not all indexes
    1. Available for free with your library card barcode, e.g. Washington County Public Library; log on via the Washington County Library website -- http://library.washco.utah.gov/ > eResources
    2. Images were filmed differently and the indexes are different on FamilySearch (Ancestry) and HQO -- see my HQO notes at  http://uvtagg.org/classes/dons/dons-classes.html -- may need to check both
  14. MyHeritage -- http://www.myheritage.com/research/category-1000/census-voter-lists?s=195946641
  15. Linkpendium -- http://www.linkpendium.com/ -- Click on state > State resources or else go to the county

  17. For FamilySearch Family Tree the freeware FamilySearch certified program TreeSeek -- https://treeseek.com/ -- will check Family Tree ancestors and show which have the appropriate US censuses as sources and which you need to add
  18. To check censuses start with minimal info and add more to narrow down the search as needed -- reason is that errors in the entry, e.g. misspellings, may cause you to miss it entirely, if you enter too much data
  19. Can sometimes do advanced searches with only first names, places, occupations, and use wildcards
  20. Good principle is to follow every family through all appropriate censuses -- can sometimes do this easily with head-of-household indexes as on HQO
  21. Steven Morse's One-Step search engines for Ancestry and other websites -- http://www.stevemorse.org/census/ancestry.html  and  http://www.stevemorse.org/ -- very helpful free search programs
  22. For census forms and worksheets see my  Census Supplementary Notes 
  23. State and county boundary changes -- interactive US state maps at  http://www.mapofus.org/
  24. Enumeration Districts -- geographical census areas -- refer  https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Finding_a_Person_in_the_1930_Census_%28Even_Without_An_Index%29 -- may be able to find people this way when indexed wrong
  25. Mortality Schedules: information about people who died during the year before the census was taken -- refer  https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/United_States_Census_Mortality_Schedules

  27. US State censuses in the "between" years -- see  https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/United_States_Census_State_Censuses  and  http://www.census-online.com/
  28. British censuses -- see  http://www.genuki.org.uk/  and  http://www.census-online.com/
  29. LDS Church censuses -- see  https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/LDS_Census -- were taken 1852-3, 1914, and every 5 years from 1920 to 1960, except 1945 during WW II -- on microfilm

  31. See  Census Supplementary Notes  for more information and links about US, British, Canadian, and foreign censuses
  32. Censuses are a major source of information about who was in the family and where they lived at the time.
  33. Good primary source for information and documentation to fill out families on FamilySearch Family Tree; can easily link online sources to people on Family Tree now