Help for searching the Census records


The more boxes you check on the search screen, the less answers you will get -  and vice versa.


A summary search may save time, but you may need the information in the full search afterwards.


This is a big file, so if you search for common names you will get more than you want.

But if you expect an exact match on several of fields, you will get nothing if one of them is not matched.


The systems search on any part of a field, so you can afford to look for only part of a word ? this can be good for occupations, or for doubtful farm names.

Remember that spelling of personal names was very variable, writing rather difficult to read, and place names very variable or not given at all.   


Too many answers

limit by year

            or search only for surname, then look for possible first names


Too few answers

search only the start of a name to check spelling ?

            or look for alternative spelling or word ?

            was a standard abbreviation used in place of your term ? (see Fields, Abbreviations)