Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Rabbit Holes With Randy -- Chasing 1950 United States Census Records

 The biggest rabbit hole in the past week was the 1950 United States Census on National Archives, Ancestry, MyHeritage and FamilySearch.  

On Thursday night, 31 March, I checked in on the National Archives site right at 9 p.m. PDT, and was able to quickly find my family at 2119 30th Street in San Diego in ED 72-293 just like I hoped.  I tried the name search first, and Seaver gave me a hit on the top of page 14 for my brother- my parents and I were on page 13 so I had to go back and load the ED images and find them.  My maternal grandparents were on the same page because they resided at 2115 30th Street.

I looked for Linda's parents family in San Francisco in ED 38-1155 and had to browse to find them because Leland is a fairly common last name.  That was it for Thursday night  I went to bed after writing I Found My Family in the 1950 U.S. Census by 9:02 p.m.

On Friday morning, I searched for more of the names on my list, visited Linda, and wrote about the process to find my family in Finding My Parents Family in San Diego in the 1950 U.S. Census.  After that, I searched for more of my Seaver relatives in Massachusetts, including my aunts and uncles and my paternal grandmother with some success.  

During Friday, MyHeritage put out a press release that they already had the census images online for browsing by ED, and I posted MyHeritage Has 1950 U.S. Census Images Online - Updated Again!  Unfortunately, they had a glitch and only the first image of each ED was visible.  I wrote notes on email and Facebook to alert them but it was already midnight in Israel.  

On Friday afternoon PDT, Ancestry posted on Facebook that they had some images online, and I posted Has Partial 1950 U.S. Census Enumeration Sheets Online.  There were 34 states on their list at the time.

On Saturday morning I visited Linda and then watched the SDGS DNA Interest Group presentation, and after lunch I searched for more folks on my target person list using mainly ED searches on Ancestry. 

By Saturday afternoon, MyHeriage had all of the images online before 2 p.m. PDT.  Ancestry had them all soon after (I didn't note the time).

On Sunday morning, I wrote The State of the 1950 United States Census - 3 April 2022 to summarize what I knew then with research tips.  I hope they helped.  By this time, Ancestry and MyHeritage had all of the images available online, and FamilySearch about 98% of them.  I also went to visit Linda.

On Sunday afternoon, I searched for records in EDs for the last people on my target person list, and then added more persons as targets and found their addresses using Ancestry records and EDs using the Ancestry ED Finder.  

I presently have 31 families on my target person list, and have found 20 of them.  I still have 9 that I had an ED for but have been unable to find, and 2 that I have an ED for and have not searched for yet.

With each "found" census entry, I download the image, rename it, and put it in a 1950 census folder for now.  I mark the target person list with a D for Download in the "Found" column.  I wrote source citations for several of my close family, and when I add them to RootsMagic, I add an S to my target person list in the "Found" column.  I need to update my target person list to improve the readability of the list after marking up and/or crossing out EDs and addresses.

On Monday, I shared some of my finds in the Mondays with Myrt webinar, and sent an email to my CVGS mailing list with a link to my The State of the 1950 United States Census - 3 April 2022 blog post and to encourage them to use the available systems.  Several have had success.  

After reviewing Facebook over the past five days, I was amazed (and disappointed) that, even with all of the announcements and videos and blogs, more people went into this exercise unprepared - no target list, no addresses, no EDS, and many were mortified that the NARA index was incomplete and that Ancestry did not have an index yet.  Most of the professional people I know were prepared and many highlighted their experiences, but for many of them our posts were the first they heard about it.  

Today, I climbed out of the 1950 Census rabbit hole, slept in a bit, visited Linda, watched some of the Padres spring training game, and did some housecleaning because my brother-in-law is coming on Wednesday.  I did have carrots for a snack, though!


Copyright (c) 2022, Randall J. Seaver

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1 comment:

Charlie said...

I too am surprised at how many folks had expected a name index on April 1. I'm not a pro, but I'm someone who wants to work in a professional way, so I had my list of EDs and found little difficulty in finding the families located where I expected them.

Since EDs are supposed to be of a size that allows one person to conduct the census, it's not a terrible burden to read every page. In fact, at one point I read every page that came up under the surname Poole in the borough of Queens, New York city. It was only 50 pages and I actually found one family member who had disappeared from view after 1932. Of course, there will be more matches once indexing is complete, and I corrected a lot of the indexing for my family and many nearby neighbors.

I'm actually adding my own sources at the National Archive to Ancestry, figuring I can go back in six months or so and replace them or maybe just leave them. I found by experiment that some entries can get a direct link, which includes the name. For others, I link to the full ED but have info about the page to select in the source record.