The Census in digital times

Oct 01, 2018 681

Genealogy conferences all over the nation almost always have a room set up for vendors to sell genealogy-related items such as books, maps, how-to manuals and old postcards. There are always vendors who sell T-shirts with humorous genealogy pun-laden sayings. The most common joke (I use the term loosely) is worn by about 20 percent of the attendees at the conference, and it says “Genealogists Never Die, They Just Lose Their Census.”

I’ll pause while you groan….

Before the internet was a daily part of our lives, one of the most important sources was the federal census. If you did not know whether your eldest aunt or uncle was born in Chicago, Italy or elsewhere, the census was the logical place to look. It saved a lot of time and money that you might have spent at the county clerk’s office seeking a birth certificate they didn’t have because Zio Francesco wasn’t born in Chicago.

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