Helpful tips and stories from the Genealogists behind From Roots to Legacy

Phil Michael

Having trouble finding your ancestors in the census records?

It’s important to remember that there are a few reasons why it can be difficult to find your ancestors in the online, indexed census records.

  1. Other people had to try to read what was written and transcribe it and index it. Writing the original census records was difficult most of the time which leant there was a lot of room for error.
  2. The census takers wrote down what they heard so many names were mis-spelled
  3. Sometimes people just were skipped over

If you are having trouble finding your ancestors, there are a few things you can try:

  1. See who lived near them in a previous census and search for those names both before and after
  2. Try various spellings of the name

Last of all – get a copy of the full census and go through it page by page

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