1    Aug 20132 comments

1790: First US Census Day

The US Census is the nation’s largest and most important set of records. They are invaluable to everyone interested in discovering their family history.

This week marks the original Census Day, which took place on the first Monday in August in 1790.

The 1790 Census was the first census conducted, numbering the then-population at  3,929,214.

Thomas Jefferson in the 1790 U.S. Census. Note occupation listed as 'Sec of State to the US' (click to zoom)

Census records provide a snapshot into the lives of our ancestors by documenting names, addresses, birthplace, members of household and more. Continue reading "1790: First US Census Day" »

1    May 201311 comments

MyHeritage: All US census records now available!

We're proud to announce that the entire collection of U.S. Federal Censuses is now available on MyHeritage.

These censuses span every decade from 1790-1930 and complement the existing 1940 U.S. Census, which you can search already on MyHeritage.

The collection is the nation’s largest and most important set of records including a huge searchable index and all scanned images of the original census documents, covering some 520 million names.

Start searching the censuses now
Continue reading "MyHeritage: All US census records now available!" »

4    Sep 20112 comments

Genealogy News: North America – 4 September 2011

The genealogy and family history world is often quiet during the summer months as people take vacations or enjoy family time.

In late August, our community once again begins to buzz with activity as people return to their daily lives. The program year begins in September for many genealogy societies.

This week has produced event announcements ranging from society meetings, anniversary programs, the start of classes, new tools and databases and more.

Read on for some of the announcements - we couldn't fit everything into this column!

How you can learn more: 

-- Google for genealogy and family history events in your own town or city.

-- Join your local family history society.

-- Sign up for a family history class.

Continue reading "Genealogy News: North America – 4 September 2011" »

3    Aug 201114 comments

Help Us Save Millions of Census Records From Being Destroyed

The Australian Census is coming up on August 9th and millions of records are at risk of being destroyed forever, stopping future generations from benefitting from the information.

We need your help to stop this, even if you are not in Australia. Please read on to see how you can help.

The Australian Census Night is on August 9, and it is a big moment for all Australian citizens. Of all the questions on the census, the one garnering most attention is Question 60, which asks respondents if they want their paper response stored in the national archives, to be released publicly in 99 years' time or if they want it destroyed immediately.

Those of you familiar with historical information in England, Wales and Scotland, for example, will probably be thinking “What’s so special about that?” considering the fact that census data from those countries has been preserved since 1841.

In Australia, however, that hasn’t been the historical case. Instead, once the statistical data has been captured, the actual census records have been religiously destroyed.

Continue reading "Help Us Save Millions of Census Records From Being Destroyed" »

19    Aug 20101 comment

Tracing Your Irish Ancestry (Part 2)

The first part of Tracing your Irish Ancestry can be found here.
Although there are strong similarities between the record systems of Britain and Ireland, there are also some very significant differences that need to be taken into account:

  1. The 1901 and 1911 censuses have long been open for public research in Ireland (and as previously mentioned you can now access the census online at http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/).
  2. For the same reason, a range of different sources, known as “census substitutes” acquired an unlikely significance. The most prominent is Griffith’s Primary Valuation, an all-Ireland property survey published county by county between 1848 and 1864. This is one of the most important surviving 19th century genealogical sources.
  3. Although the Irish county system appears to conform to British practice, place names below the county level are very differently organised and, since most records relate to specific localities, it is necessary to have a clear grasp of these differences when researching.
  4. Most of the major record categories have starting dates significantly later than their British equivalents. Continue reading "Tracing Your Irish Ancestry (Part 2)" »
12    Aug 20105 comments

Tracing Your Irish Ancestry

From 1800 to 1922 the UK was the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.  So, for a great deal of the period of interest to genealogists, the two islands were part of the same country.

The consequence of this is that there are no official records of migration, because the Irish in Britain during that time were not technically immigrants.  As a result, the British archives contain much more material of Irish interest.

There are a lot of similarities between the record systems of Britain and Ireland, particularly:

  • The formats of the various civil registration records
  • Census-taking practice
  • Probate for wills
  • Before census and civil registration, parish records are the only direct sources of family information for the majority of the population.

There are four categories of Irish records that are relevant to almost everyone researching their Irish ancestors: civil records, census records, church records and property records.

There are also fascinating tales of family history, passed down orally through the generations, which can be found in most families.  Irish Family History is full of myths and legends.  These stories may be curious, but always interesting and sometimes historically valuable, perhaps grounded in fact and providing a peek into the past that might not be available through other means.

Continue reading "Tracing Your Irish Ancestry" »

3    Jun 20100 comments

Irish 1901 Census Published Online

For those who haven't heard the news already, the 1901 Irish Census was set live today. It's hosted on the National Archives of Ireland website, which you can access for free here.
Continue reading "Irish 1901 Census Published Online" »

16    Apr 20100 comments

1791 U.S. Census Sold

A first edition of the first U.S. census signed by Thomas Jefferson in 1791 has been sold at auction in New York City for over US $122,000.

The census lists all people across the then 13 states of American, and South-West Territory, by both state and county. The 1791 census lists the population for New York City and county - Manhattan and the South Bronx - as 33,131 and the Washington, D.C., area, with some districts unreported, as 35,691 people.

People are divided into four categories: free white males 16 years and upward, free white males under 16, free white females, all other free persons and slaves.

The first census was a headcount that did not include the amount of land or animals owned and was intended for viewing by the political class, not the public

Jefferson was Secretary of State at the time and his signature certified that the information was an official accurate count. The census was part of a large collection of American history owned by the late newspaper publisher James S. Copley.

US census
Continue reading "1791 U.S. Census Sold" »

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