Genealogy Tips - Includes links to all state archives, 1930 Federal census info, 1890 census info, Civil War tips, Land record tips and more.

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Searching Census Records

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If you are having trouble tracking an ancestor, try tracking some of the families that married into the family or were living nearby on a census, or even names on documents such as land deeds, marriage records and wills. Sometimes we get bogged down following one specific name. In the 1800's people traveled in large groups most of the if you lose the trail of a particular person, sometimes you can pick it up again by following some of the families that lived nearby. This has helped me tremendously in my family research! Over and over again, I find groups that moved together from place to place.
Don'ts when using census records.
Census records contain vast amounts of census records.  What could be easier?  Be careful, there are many pitfalls.
* Don't believe the census indexes are correct or complete.

* Don't assume the spelling of the name is as you know it now.

* Don't assume the relationship to the head of the household is as stated.

* Don't assume the ages given provide a birth year.

* Don't forget to copy ALL information at the top of page, as well as all data to the right.

* Don't forget all entries for your surname in the county, better look at the neighbors too.  Often neighbors are married children or parents of the specific person you have found.

* Don't think records before 1850 can't help.  Only one name listed - at least you'll know how many to look for in a family.

* Don't think census data gives all the answers.  Lots of other records to pursue after you locate your family.  

* Don't forget 1880 plus records when you are stuck in the early 1800's.  

* Don't forget 1890 veterans census if your ancestor was in the military.

* Don't forget about the state census records and tax lists.  They contain a wealth of information, not found in the Federal census schedules.

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