You’ve likely heard and participated in the census. The census is actually an important part of gathering a great deal of information and statistics about the population. It can also be an incredibly valuable tool for genealogy research, because it keeps records about the population. You will often be able to trace your ancestry with the use of census records. Here are a few important things to know about the census and the benefits these records can provide.
What is the Census?
The census is essentially the process where information is gathered about the population. The US census has been held every 10 years since 1790. The release of information depends on the type of information that is being released. Some statistics will be released almost immediately, while other protected information is kept for 72 years prior to release.
How the Census is Used
There are several ways in which the census is used. The information that is released shortly after the census is most commonly used to apportion Congressional districts, which can have a substantial political impact. In addition, there are several additional statistics that are released during this period. These statistics include information about health trends in the general population, as well as housing information and employment growth.
The statistical data from the census is released almost immediately. This data is often used to enable effective, informed decision making. The use of statistical data can enable improvements to health and employment trends, as well as provide many additional advantages.
There is another component of the census that is general the most useful part for genealogists. This component is referred to as population schedules. When the census is taking, specific information is gathered for each citizen. Since this information is specific and personal, it is withheld for 72 years to protect private information. For example, the population schedule information from the 1950 census will be released next year. This information includes names, ages, and relationships between individuals in a household. It also includes the language spoken by the individual, as well as the birthplaces of their parents. This can be an incredibly valuable resource for genealogists.
How to Use the Census
When you intend to use the census for your genealogy project, it is useful to start with the most recent census and work your way back to older ones. This will help you to trace your genealogy through the census information. When you are searching directly on the census website, it is usually beneficial to not fill out every filter in the search engine, as this can narrow your search down too much.
The census can be an incredibly beneficial tool for use in your genealogy project. After you have interviewed all of your living relatives, the census may be the next best step for your research. For assistance with leveraging the census for your own genealogy project, you can consult with our team at Heritage Consulting today!