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US: Census Records
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NOTE: This course requires compulsory materials to be ordered. Please click on the Supplies tab for details.

This course is designed to give you a better understanding of the history, content, and uses of census records and related material. Much census material is available on computerized databases located in many familiar places—libraries, archives, etc. While those specific locations are not given in the material, many charts are supplied which track which documents are available for particular years, for the various U.S. states. This should be of more use and enable you to better focus your search for documents and information. We will also review some of the common pitfalls which can derail a genealogical search and offer tips on how to avoid them.

One student’s experience:
To hear a student discussion regarding their experience with this course, please click here. (This is a large file and may take a minute or two to download.)

Course Content

Module 1
Federal Census 1790-1940 Populations Schedules
Required Reading
Strategies for Using Census Records
• A Census Timeline Form
• Census Worksheet Method
• And Yet Another Possibility
A Bit of History About the Census Enumerations
• Colonial Census
• History of Federal Census 1790-2000
• The "As of" Date
Census Schedule Availability
• 1790 Census
• 1800 Census
• 1810 Census
• 1820 Census
• 1830 Census
• 1840 Census
• 1850 Census
• 1860 Census
Slave Population Schedules for 1850-1860

Module 2
Federal Census 1790-1940 Populations Schedules...Continued
• 1870 Census
• 1880 Census
• 1890 Census
• 1900 Census
• 1910 Census
• 1920 Census
• 1930 Census
• 1940 Census
• 1950 Census
Things to Consider About the Census
The Other Population Schedules
• Finding Persons in Military Service
More to Come
Suggested Reading and Resources

Module 3
1885 Census and Non-Population Schedules
Census of 1885
Non-Population Schedules
• Agriculture Schedules 1850-1885
• Manufacture or Products of Industry Schedules 1850-1885
• Mortality Schedules 1850-1885
• Social Statistics Schedule 1850-1885
• 1890 Special Schedule of Union Surviving Soldiers, Soldiers, Sailors and Widows, etc.
Suggested Reading and Resources

Module 4
Indexing and Research Techniques
Required Reading 
Census Availability
Census Indexing
• Free Images Online
• Subscription Websites
• Variations Between Census Indexes
Government Work: Soundex & Miracode Systems
• So, who was included in the Soundex?
• How are the Soundex cards arranged?
Published Index Books & Other Resources
• Microfilmed Census Schedules
Citing Your Sources
• Scanned or Printed Images
Suggested Reading and Resources

Module 5
Colonial, State, Territorial & Native American/Indian Census
Boundary Changes
• Maps and More
Non-Federal Censuses
• State Census
• Territorial Census
• Native American/American Indian Census
Suggested Reading and Resources

Module 6
Substitute Records
Required Reading
Tax Lists
Voting Registers
City Directories
More Sources
Suggested Reading and Resources

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