Thursday, June 22, 2006

What Folks Are Saying about the 1910 Every-Name Census

Well, word is spreading about Ancestry.com's completion of the indexing of all U.S. census records for 1790-1930, a remarkable accomplishment by any standards. Here's some of the early commentary:

Everton Publishers Genealogy Blog

ABC News

The Genealogue

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

Genea-Musings

My take? Based on an experiment I did essentially performing forensics on a series of cases I had solved (mostly for the U.S. Army's Repatriarion project and assorted orphan heirloom rescues), every-name census indexes were a key ingredient in 80% -- pretty compelling evidence that these are a powerful resource.

I took some time today to use the freshly indexed 1910 to tackle some of my current cases, and in general, was well pleased. The usual cautions apply. I found a Loretta Quinn I was seeking indexed as Lovett Arian, so be sure to make heavy use of wildcard functionality and the various fields. BTW, this is not necessarily a reflection of the transcription quality as the 1910 census was in particularly bad shape. I found some of my Smolenyaks as Inolenak, and it really does look like that in the original.

And for whatever reasons, I had difficulty working with the census in Explorer, but once I swtiched to Moxilla Firefox, everything functioned as it should. So if you find certain fields not working, consider trying a different browser.

Finally, if you don't have a subscription to Ancestry.com, now is a good time to try because everyone's being offered 3 free days of access to the 1930 census. Happy hunting!

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