It’s an exciting time to be a genealogist.
Last week, the U.S. National Archives released U.S. census records from 1950, granting public access to files that documented more than 150 million people and the areas they lived, the jobs they had, and much more.
The Illinois State Genealogical Society’s spring journal, the Quarterly, details how the census was conducted and offers advice to family researchers on how to use the data.
“We all want to know something about where we came from,” said Richard Anderson, editor of the Quarterly. “A lot of folks will go into the census and if they can find their family, that’s where they will stop. But one of the fun things about the census is finding your family — then finding out who lives next door or what work they’re engaged in.”
The data from 1950 came back last week because it’s federal law that personal information has to be sealed for 72 years, he said. So two years after the most recent census, there’s a release of an archival census.
This census will detail the name of the head of a household and anyone living in that space, along with their relationship, Anderson said. It also lists what general work people were engaged in, where they were born, and more.
To find out more details about this recent release, go to 1950census.archives.gov/