One of the projects I’ve been working on has been a census inventory for my direct lines, in hopes that it will ensure that I have conducted a thorough search of census records for my ancestors.
I started with a spreadsheet (of course). I created pages for censuses in the United States, Canada, Ireland, and Germany (although Germany doesn’t really have any national censuses). I also included pages for individual state censuses that I knew I would need, and filled these in as I went through my list.
For each locality, I included every possible census year – whether available online, offline, or not available at all (this will help later if I need to use substitutes such as tax lists, city directories, etc.). Then I began with my grandparents and worked my way backward through my pedigree chart, filling in the sheets as appropriate. I colored the boxes green showing those dates when my ancestors SHOULD appear, and entered an X if I already had a census record for that year.
I was pleased to discover that I have obtained all the national census records for my grandparents and great-grandparents. However, I was surprised to see that I am missing several records from my great great grandparents (outlined in red).
I made a note next to each person’s name of which states they SHOULD be found. In the long run, this will make it easier for me to click over to the proper state to find my ancestor. Separating the states this way also makes it a little more efficient when I get ready to start looking at the state censuses.
This is the spreadsheet for the South Dakota state censuses. Most of these are available online and I have found a good portion of them already.
The Indiana state censuses are another story. Indiana’s census weren’t always statewide. Some of them are for one or two counties, and some are territorial. Clearly, I have my work cut out for me here.
Now, on to phase 2 of my project … actually finding all of these census records!
So … what process do you use to determine whether you have it all?Do we share ancestors? Email me: lostancestors AT gmail DOT com
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