What can searching U.S. Federal Census records tell you about your Ancestors?

In addition to general information such as your ancestors’ ages, birthplaces, and marital status, the search U.S. Federal Census records contain valuable insight into your family history. Were your ancestors one of the many immigrants who made their way to America in hopes of a brighter future? If so, their immigration and citizenship information was likely recorded. You can even find the exact year they came to America and the address where they first arrived. Or use their marital status to find related family members and build your family tree further.

In addition, you can search U.S. Census records to find relatives, including their children and siblings, of your ancestors. Filling in the gaps in your family tree will help you gain a better understanding of your family history.

Tips on Searching US Census Records Online

Use the current census year available and work backward to find ancestors in previous generations. Due to a 72-year restriction on access to census reports, the most available census data today is the 1940 census.

Another helpful tool to use when searching census archives is to use only the first initial of your ancestor when making your inquiry. Some census takers recorded only the first initial rather than a person’s full name.

If you’re having trouble finding information about your ancestor’s name, narrow your search to include their birthplace or other family members. This information can help you get a better search result that is specific to your ancestry, especially if you share a last name.

Using information found in the census, such as location and names of family members, you can build on your research and find nearby cemeteries, schools, or churches to learn about your ancestors. I may be a member with more insight.

The U.S. Census and other genealogical resources such as newspaper archives and U.S. obituaries provide a greater understanding of your ancestors’ lives, interests, and the events that defined them. With just one name you can access a world of information through GenealogyBank’s comprehensive and digitized US Census records.

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