Genealogy And The United States Census

3373 words - 13 pages

Research paper
Ever wonder how far back your family history goes? Do you have any idea where to start looking or what information may be needed to properly find family information? Do you have any clue as to what records would have information? The study of family history better known is Genealogy, is a common hobby of many around the world. Everyone’s genealogy is different. Some family roots can be traced farther back then others, maybe be some more times consuming. Researching your family roots can be done on many sites like,, and To use these sites, ancestor names, and place of residence are two key facts you need to start a genealogy search. Many Genealogies cites provides records of U.S census to help find family information. U.S censuses are one of the most commonly used can use for the study of genealogy. Although all records can be useful using the census as a source of genealogical information does raise a few question; specifically, are earlier censuses records less accurate, thus making it harder to trace family history then more recent censuses? How has the U.S census evolved to better clarify information on its residents?
Censuses are used to see population growth in particular areas. In 1790, George Washington signed a document that stated it was now a law that gave government permission to collect population data called a census also known as a population schedule. These were collected by U.S marshal. The population schedules were also used for demographic analysis (Anniversary of Census Act of 1790 2012). Demographic Analysis is a method that is used to understand the ages, sex, and race and how it changed through the groups of immigration, birth, and death. It also refers to a specific method for establishing a national population estimate by using age, sex, and race from businesses, organizations, and institutions to be used to look at the quality of the censuses every ten years (U.S. Census Bureau | Population Estimates 2013).
Throughout two-hundred and forty years twenty censuses have been taken in the United States. Since the fist U.S census, population schedules have evolved, and many changes have been made. From 1790 to 1820 spelling of names on U.S censuses were not always spelled correctly. Names were spelled different from actual spellings or changes if the name was the same as another household; an example is Smyth and smith. Birth dates and months were not listed on any of the U.S census until after 1850 making it difficult to find information on females, children, and the relationship between family members, or were they immigrated from (U.S Census Bureau 2012).
On the first Monday of August 1790 the first census was taken U.S Marshals visited houses and asked specific question in every household. Specific questions consisted of, the name of the head of every single household, with their age, sex, and race and the number of others who lived in the household until...

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