Genealogy census tip: Look beyond just names and relationships

Beyond 3By Barry J. Ewell
Look beyond just names and relationships. As you research the census, you need to be able to see more than family names and relationships which are usually found in the first few columns of the 1850-1940 censuses.

Look at the other columns for events that you can research beyond the pages of the census.  Look carefully for information in columns related to other events where sources and records exist that you can use to compare and analyses. Start by looking at the columns related to:

  • Born: Age, birthplace, parents birth place
  • Custom events: Prison/convict questions lead to records
  • Death: Head of household is missing, parent living with child, widow status of a spouse, mortality schedule
  • Education: Attended school (e.g., elementary to college)
  • Immigration and naturalization
  • Land: Real estate value and mortgage questions
  • Marriage: Wife, if married within the year, marital status
  • Military: Veteran, service in specific conflict, widow or veteran schedules
  • Occupation

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