Monday, March 16, 2020

Helping Heirs Find Me in Later Census Years

April 1 will be Census Day. Everyone in the United States will be answering a few questions (alas, not many and not too much detail). In 72 years, our genealogical heirs will be able to see our answers and learn something about us. I've added a #CensusDoodle and will scan my printed form before mailing it back, giving future genealogists a head start on my whereabouts in 2020.

Customize this fictitious sample table for yourself! 

It's doubtful future genealogists will be able to find me very easily in some Census records because I married (with a change in name) and I moved...and moved...and moved.

My gift to my genealogy heirs is a simple table showing who and where I was in the Census records. For extra credit, I'll also say who else was in the household. Even if I can't remember exact street addresses, I can say approximately where I was (living in the Bronx, for example, four blocks from a particular subway station)--close enough to help narrow down the proper Enumeration District.

My point is not only to help heirs find me but also to give them details so they can confirm they indeed have the correct person!

Please consider creating a simple table like this and tucking it into your genealogy files. Let's give future genealogists more hints than our ancestors left for us!


  1. This is a fun exercise. I have been enumerated in six federal censuses (after this one, and I haven't gotten it yet!). I have lived at three addresses - my childhood home, my "just out of college" address, and the house my husband and I bought in 1992.

    1. Hi Elizabeth, thanks for reading and commenting. My first two Census addresses were the same (I was still in my childhood apartment) and after that, every Census was a different address! Except 2000 and 2010, in the house my husband and I bought in 1993. We sold that a few years ago, so 2020 is yet another new address.