Thursday, October 14, 2021

1950 US Census Release: Save the Page, Cite Your Source

Family historians are excited that the 1950 US Census population schedule will be released on April 1, 2022--that's only 169 days from today.

In my earlier posts about preparing for the 1950 Census, I suggested creating a list of ancestors, along with their 1950 addresses (from your research) and their 1950 Enumeration District (search using the terrific tech tool by Steve Morse and Joel Weintraub). 

My list doesn't have a column for what I learn about each ancestor's 1950 Census data--I'm going to enter that into my software and my online tree, jotting notes as I go.

As I was recording my talk, "Get Ready for the 1950 US Census" to air during the Virtual Genealogical Association's Annual Conference, incoming VGA President Jeanette Sheliga asked me a great question: Will I download the Census pages and attach to my tree?

Don't miss these important steps!

I will certainly download each page where an ancestor is listed, label with a descriptive file title, and save in a digital folder so I can return later to vacuum up more clues and absorb their significance.

And, importantly, I'm going to note the ED, page number, and other citation information so I can return to the page at any time.

But rather than take the time to download, label, annotate, upload, label, and save each ancestor's Census page to my multiple trees (WikiTree, Ancestry, MyHeritage, and more), my preference is to wait and move on to locating other ancestors in the browse-only 1950 Census.

Once the sites have indexed the 1950 Census, weeks or months after the release, I'll be able to connect pages to ancestors on my online trees with just a few clicks. And by then, any ancestors I haven't located by browsing may be much easier to locate with indexed search.

What's your plan for saving 1950 Census pages and citing your source? Don't forget these vital steps in your research plan!