Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Checking Out the FREE Census Indexes on Mocavo.com

Mocavo announced yesterday, in A New Chapter for Mocavo, that they had all of the United States Census record indexes available to search in their record collections for FREE.

I took a look at this today, but unfortunately, I couldn't find a way to sign out from Mocavo to try it as a Basic subscriber.  My process, as a Gold subscriber, was:

1)  I wanted to find my second great-grandfather, Isaac Seaver (1823-1901) in the U.S. Census records, and he resided in Leominster, Massachusetts.

On the Mocavo Search page, I input First Name = "isaac" Last Name = "seaver" and Keyword = "Leominster:"

I used the residence location in order to narrow the search.  If I didn't know the location, then I would have to sort through a larger number of results.

2)  The Search resulted in 212 results, across many record collections (two screens shown below):

3)  I wanted Census records, so I clicked on the "Census, Directories and Lists" filter in the left-hand column on the screen above, and there were three results:

The three results were the 1870, 1880 and 1900 U.S. Census records as I expected.

4)  I clicked on the link for the name on the first result to see the 1900 U.S. census entry (two screens shown below):

The indexed information for this census record includes:

*  First Name
*  Last Name
*  Date of Birth
*  Age
*  Place of Birth
*  State
*  County
*  City
*  Head of Household's First Name
*  Head of Household's Last Name
*  Relationship to Head of Household
*  Marital Status
*  Estimated Year of Marriage
*  Years Married
*  Father's Place of Birth
*  Mother's Place of Birth
*  Spouse's First Name
*  Spouse's Last Name
*  Spouse's Place of Birth
*  Gender
*  Ethnicity
*  Race

5)  There is a link to "See All Household Members" so I clicked on that link:

There were two members of this household - Isaac Seaver and his wife Elvira W. Seaver (actually, it should be Alvina, but it was enumerated incorrectly).

From the screen above, I can:

*  Attach the record to a person in my tree
*  Save the record in the Shoebox
*  Hide the record Forever

I wondered what the "Household ID" on the household list of persons was.  The screen above said = 4095421.  Where does that come from?  From what I could tell, it is not the FHL microfilm number, nor the NARA roll number from the NARA series, nor the Household Number on the census image, nor the FHL didgital file folder, nor the FamilySearch record image number.

The indexed information on Mocavo appears to be nearly identical to the indexed information on the same FindMyPast census record transcription and on the FamilySearch record summary.

6)  Some concerns:

*  Although there is a placeholder image of an open book shown, there is no link to the actual census page image.  A link to the FindMyPast or FamilySearch image might be really helpful!  Or a link to the Internet Archive census page image would be FREE for everyone.

*  Since only the information is indexed, a user cannot browse the image page or see who the neighbors were.

*  There is no real information to help the researcher craft a source citation.  The only useful information for a source citation is the person's name and the place name (state, county, city).  A link to the FamilySearch source citation would be better than no citation at all.

7)  The additions of the United States census record indexes on Mocavo brings them closer to having a fairly full set of record collections.  Census records are one of the key record types we have to find our ancestors in a place at a specific time, and provides an aid to find other record types.

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2014/06/checking-out-free-census-indexes-on.html

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver


Lisa S. Gorrell said...

Randy, I don't have Mocavo Gold and when I searched for Amos Gorrell in Missouri, I got lots of hits, including the 1900, 1910, and 1920 census. However, when I click on one of the entries, I get a screen to urge me to upgrade to gold. So the index is there briefly but without all of the details. And of course no citation details.

Finn said...

Randy, you asked about the "Household ID" 4095421, seeing that it is a four million number, I would say that it looks like a digital image from FamilySearch. These four million numbers are not normally searchable by themselves but are used internally in FamilySearch systems.