Friday, December 17, 2021

Latest News: 1950 US Census Release

This week, the US National Archives announced that when it releases the 1950 US Census records on April 1, 2022, a basic surname search function will be available!

The key is the use of artificial intelligence and OCR (optical character recognition) technologies to decipher handwritten names on the population schedules. You can read the details here

Also, on a recent Extreme Genes podcast, Scott Fisher asked Jim Ericson of about the timeline for indexing the 1950 US Census. The response: Family Search hopes to have the 1950 Census indexed by the fall of 2022, thanks to new technology and more volunteers. Plus the effort will capture even more of the details beyond name! You can read the transcript of the podcast here.

For a bit of mid-century Census advertising, take a look at good ole Uncle Sam, above. He was the star of one of the print ads created to promote participation in the count. See this NARA page for a full selection of ads leading up to April 1, 1950.

Are you getting ready for this exciting Census release? Please check my page of tips and analysis here. I also give a webinar about the unique genealogical info in this Census, and how to find ancestors before indexing is complete. Here's a link to my presentation schedule. Happy ancestor hunting!


  1. Thanks for compiling all these great tips in one place!

  2. That's exciting to hear - thanks for the tip!

  3. Thanks for sharing the information that there will be some name search capability when the 1950 Census is released in April! I still plan to do my prep - the Steve Morse site helped me so much ten years ago! Thank you for compiling all these great tips and information!