The entire book is excellent. Download it and read it.
The paragraph on page 16 that caught my eye the other day was this (transcribed by me):
The Age Search Group of the Census Office is still in operation. The services of this group can be used for a personal census search to locate one person in a census 1930-1990. The request must be for yourself, a deceased ancestor, or for any person alive today who provides written permission. The fee for the search is $40.00 plus $10.00 for a "genealogy" search (which adds the full details for one person on a particular census schedule). The application for a search must be on a Bureau of Census form BC-600, "Application for Search of Census Records," which was obtained by writing to Age Search Group, Bureau of the Census, PO Box 1545, Jeffersonville IN 47131, or by stopping by any local office of the Social Security Asministration and asking for a copy of form BC-600.
Since that was written in 1999, I checked the web for updated information and found this at the US Census web site - http://www.census.gov/genealogy/www/agesearch.html. The basic changes to what Bill wrote in his book are that the fee has increased to $65. The form BC-600 can be found at http://www.census.gov/genealogy/www/bc-600.pdf.
The usual reason for doing this is to obtain a social security, passport or other government identity record, and they recommend getting the census record closest to a person's birth.
The web page states:
RESULTS: An official census transcript will list the person’s name, relationship to household head, age at the time of the census, and state of birth. Citizenship will be provided if the person was foreign born. Single items of data such as occpation for Black Lung cases can be provided upon request. If a person is not found, a form will be sent with that information.
When I first read this information, I thought that a researcher could not get information for the entire household, only for the specific individual. The Instructions for completing form BC-600 do state that, for an extra $10 for each person on the full schedule, you can request and receive information for all persons in the same household, assuming you have authorization (or a death certificate for a deceased person) from each person.
They state that the response time is 3 to 4 weeks, but it can be done faster for an additional fee.
Has anybody tried this? I thought it was useful enough to post, and I'll ask the same question on the APG mailing list.