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Census Searching Techniques: Home

Advanced Census for Genealogy Research. Techniques for searching the U.S. census schedules in the Ancestry Library Edition database.

Related Research Guides

The United States Census

The federal census has been conducted every ten years since 1790.

For genealogists, the most important part of the Census is the "Census Schedule" or "enumeration." This is the part that contains people's names.

The Decennial censuses collected information on population and some other subjects. 

Each household is contacted by a census-taker (enumerator) and information is recorded about the head of the household and all the members. Statistical tables are compiled from that information; no individual names are included. This is what most people think of when they hear the word census.

The original schedules with the personal information are not released to protect the privacy of the individuals. After 72 years, the information is made public. The most recent schedules are from the 1940 census.

Each census has asked different questions. Information about the Census Questions is very important.

Subject Guide

Rebecca Knight's picture
Rebecca Knight
Associate librarian
Reference and Instructional Services Department
Morris Library, Room 117H
(302) 831-1730

Subjects: U.S. Government Information,
Delaware, census, family studies, RefWorks, APA style, and genealogy.

B.A., History. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 1973.
M.S., Library Science. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 1981.


Originally created for the Library Workshop: Advanced Census for Genealogy Research, Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Created by Rebecca Knight, Associate Librarian, and Linda Stein, Librarian, of the Library Reference and Instructional Services Department.

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