Genealogy census tip: Search every census taken during a person’s life

census takerBy Barry J. Ewell
Find you ancestor in every census taken during the time they lived. If I was researching my grandfather who lived from 1852 to 1922, I would begin my search in the following Federal Population census: 1860, 1870, 1880, 1890’s state census (note: 99% of the 1890 Federal census was destroyed by fire and flood, 1900, 1910, and 1920.  Start with the most recent census and work backwards.   See the article, ” Use the census records to track your ancestors’ movement over time.” Also see the the John I. Stewart example 1850-1930. Start with the 1850 census or 1930 census.

Genealogy: Following every clue leads to genealogy success

Following every clue leads to genealogy successBy Barry J. Ewell

Whenever possible, I make it a practice to collaborate with other genealogists on researching specific family lines. As a team, we will review our research, analyzing documentation, notes and logs. We identify the key questions we want to research. We develop a research task list for researching each question. We assign tasks and deadlines. And we schedule regular meetings to review, compare, and discuss projects and research. Continue reading

Genealogy: 1890 U.S. federal census tutorial

1890 masheadBy Barry J. Ewell

This is a comprehensive tutorial for researching the 1890 U.S. federal census. You will be introduced to what I have used and shared with thousands to successfully find generations of family. Begin by learning how to use the census as a foundation to effective research, identify, map, and follow family through generations.

The tutorial will expand your knowledge and skills of how to conduct an exhaustive search to find genealogical and Family History records, repositories, resolve research problems and connect with resources researching similar lines.

The tutorial is divided into the following sections:

  • 1790-1940 U.S federal census resources
  • Introduction to 1890 U.S. federal census
  • Search the census substitutes
  • Search the 1890 census schedules
  • Expand your census research with military records
  • Defining the U.S. federal census
  • How to use the 1890 U.S. federal census
  • Questions asked on the 1890 census

1890 resourcesClick on any of the following years and you will be taken to that years’ census tutorial:

17901800181018201830184018501860
18701880189019001910192019301940

Continue reading

Genealogy census tip: Search every line of the census district

Checkmarks 2By Barry J. Ewell
Search every line of the census district. Yes, I know that the online databases are very comprehensive and finding your ancestor is 99.5% a sure thing.  As a practice be thorough and search every line of the census district and neighboring districts where you family lived. In my research I have found members of family living with friends in other counties, surnames phonetically spelled, members of family listed by middle names or initials.  Sometimes I have found census pages in the wrong order, family unit flowing from one page to the next or the census taker was just given wrong information.  In one instance I couldn’t find the family living in a group home that was listed near the end of the population schedule for the county.

Genealogy: Taking better digital photos overall tips

Taking better digital photos overall tipsBy Barry J. Ewell

The following are some basic tips to consider the next time you head out with your digital camera.  These tips are easy to implement and make the biggest difference in your use of the camera in you genealogy research.

Be prepared. Gather everything you’ll need, such as a tripod, extra batteries, and any props you’ll use. (A camera bag really comes in handy for transporting everything.) If you plan to take photos in wet weather, bring a plastic bag to protect your camera.

Hold your camera steady. Camera movement causes most of the blurry pictures you see. Prevent your camera from shaking by planting your feet firmly on the ground, and then steady your upper body by tucking your elbows in close to your sides. If you feel unstable, use a tripod or try leaning against a wall or a tree. Gently press the shutter release in one motion; if you press too hard, you could jerk the camera downward. Continue reading

Genealogy: 1900 U.S. federal census tutorial

1900 masteheadBy Barry J. Ewell

This is a comprehensive tutorial for researching the 1900 U.S. federal census. You will be introduced to what I have used and shared with thousands to successfully find generations of family. Begin by learning how to use the census as a foundation to effective research, identify, map, and follow family through generations.

The tutorial will expand your knowledge and skills of how to conduct an exhaustive search to find genealogical and Family History records, repositories, resolve research problems and connect with resources researching similar lines.

The tutorial is divided into the following sections:

  • 1790-1940 U.S federal census resources
  • Introduction to 1900 U.S. federal census
  •  How to effectively use the 1900 U.S. federal census
  • Expand your census research with military records
  • Defining the U.S. federal census
  • How to use the 1900 U.S. federal census
  •  Questions asked on the 1900 census

1900 resources
Click on any of the following years and you will be taken to that years’ census tutorial:

17901800181018201830184018501860
18701880189019001910192019301940

Continue reading