Friday, June 05, 2015

Confounded by the Census? Beyond the Basics of Genealogy Returns This Month

Norman Rockwell Census Taker
Norman Rockwell's The Census Taker
1940 CensusFirst taken in 1790, the U.S. census is probably a genealogist's most-used resource. Beginners and experts alike use the federal census as the starting point for their research. However, many people are still confounded by the U.S. census and are shocked when they discover:
  • 1940 is the most recent census available to the public. 
  • Nearly the entire 1890 census was destroyed by a fire. 
  • The census taker often misspelled your ancestor’s name. 
  • Other information (race, date of birth, age, additional/missing children, etc.) about your ancestor might be incorrect or vary widely from census to census. 
Beyond the Basics of Genealogy
Learn the ins and outs of the census, how it’s changed from year to year (and why it matters), and how to interpret your ancestors’ responses in our next Beyond the Basics of Genealogy workshop, Census and Sensibility: Using and Interpreting U.S. Census Records. This workshop will be held on Saturday, June 9th at 10 am in Arrington Auditorium of the Linn Henley building. Registration is requested, and you can register online, e-mail us at, or call us at 205-226-3365.

In addition to this workshop, we will have our Introduction to Genealogy classes. Introduction to Genealogy will be offered Tuesday, June 9th from 11:30 am-12:30 pm and again on Sunday, June 21st from 2:30-3:30 pm on the first floor of the Linn-Henley building in the Southern History department. The content is the same with each offering, and this class is offered throughout the year. No registration is required for this class, so come and bring a friend! If you have any questions, please contact us by phone at 205-226-3665 or e-mail us at

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