A good chart from Ancestry.com [free] displays a comparison of census information, 1790-1940. The chart is on the 1940 Census Wiki page. Very helpful when trying to determine what census asked questions such as “Month of birth” (don’t we wish that was asked on ALL of them!) Link: Comparison of Census Information, 1790-1940. Photo by …
The 1940 census had questions not asked on previous censuses. The site Census.Gov has the actual census used in 1950. Take a look at what is asked in the 1950 census. Like the 1940 census, extra questions are asked for a “sample” household. One of my favorite questions from the 1940 census was what grade …
Depending on their family and work situation, there is a chance that an ancestor is enumerated more than once in a census. The census was not necessarily always taken “on just one day,” so individuals who moved around the time of the census may have been listed by two enumerators. Individuals who were living in one household and working as domestic help in another may show up in twice–once in each household.
© Michael John Neill, “Genealogy Tip of the Day,” http://genealogytipoftheday.blogspot.com, 22 Jun 2012.
Being focused when doing genealogy research is a good thing — except when that focus costs finding an important clue.
When looking at a census record, we tend to focus on one person or one family & do not look at the other families on the page. In assisting someone (from out-of-state, btw) in Nichols Library Thursday, we found when we looked at the WHOLE page that the person in question owned a sawmill.
SHE, yes–a woman, employed one person from her household. As head of the family, it also suggests she was widowed.
When searching any everyname database to a census, start with the youngest child who has the “easiest” name. Children’s ages tend to be closer in census enumerations and names like John and Sarah, while they may have some variants are not nearly so bad as names like Henrietta and Permelia.
© Michael John Neill, “Genealogy Tip of the Day,” http://genealogytipoftheday.blogspot.com, 20- May-2011.