Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Rabbit Holes With Randy - Preparing for the 1950 U.S. Census

 This week's Rabbit Hole exercise was to find the Enumeration Districts (EDs) for my close family members in 1950, as preparation for the release of the 1950 census on 1 April 2022.  Hopefully, we can find every family member during the first week of access, whether the NARA indexing effort works or not.  

This will be the first census that I am in, so I am excited to see what my entry, as a 6 year old, looks like.  I consider "close family members" to be parents, siblings, grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, first or second cousins, etc.  I'm looking for my wife's close relatives too.  Because my mother had no siblings, and her parents had no siblings, I have very few close relatives on her side - just my grandparents and one great-grandparent.  I do have 3rd or 4th cousins on her side of my ancestry, so I may include some of them at a later date.  I do have aunts, uncles and first and second cousins on my father's side.  I need to include my wife's aunts and uncles also.  

My process for finding the Enumeration Districts was pretty simple:

*  Used the City Directories collection on to find the addresses for my target people. Almost all of them had street addresses.

*  Used Google Maps to find the address in the current map, and identified the cross streets for the block with the target address.  

*  Then I used the Steve Morse website Unified Census ED Finder ( for 1950 to identify the Enumeration district for each person on my list.  

*  Put all of that information on a word processor table so that I can print it out and write on it as I find the people in the Census.  I will write down the Roll number, Page number and Line numbers for each target entry so I can find them again.  

Here is my current list of names, addresses, and ED numbers:

Finally, I will enter the Event into my RootsMagic family tree along with a family summary in a Note and a source citation, plus an image of the census page.  I will probably write blog posts detailing what I find, especially the entry for my birth family (I sure hope they - and me - were not missed!).  It will be interesting to see who the neighbors are around my home.

I think I'm ready...I am still finding cousins to add to my list, but by 1 April I should be all set.  The biggest question I have is "will all of my relatives be enumerated?"  In the 1940 U.S. census, my grandmother, Alma Bessie (Richmond) Seaver (1882-1962), was not enumerated, but my grandfather was!

Of course, the NARA index to the 1950 U.S. Census may work like a charm, and the website may work quickly, and the links to specific pages will be accurate, and all of the ED preparation might be for naught.  We will see!  I am ready in case those things don't happen.

So pass the carrots - this Genealogy Bunny spent several hours compiling this, and he needs a snack.


Copyright (c) 2022, Randall J. Seaver

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Marian B. Wood said...

You're ready! Hope the site doesn't crash on the first day.

Miriam Robbins said...

This is a great idea, Randy. I copied your spreadsheet and added an additional column named Notes. That where I put the links to the ED maps because in some of the small communities, it's hard to know in exactly which ED my rural route folks lived. I also put helpful info, such as the names of the non-ancestor husbands my maternal ancestors were married to. Several of them had been widowed by or divorced my ancestor husbands so their last names were not the same.

Susie Q said...

Well, aren't you a clever bunny...... for now I just want to find myself!!! Will be the first census I am on......