In our rush to find people in census records we sometimes grab the most obvious information and glance over the remaining columns in the census. However, sometimes that additional information holds clues, information that points us to additional records.
Take that skinny column in a US Federal censuses beginning in 1900, “Owned or rented”. In the 1900 census it is on the far right in column 25, and moves progressively closer to the left side of the sheet in later censuses. The federal government was interested in home ownership among Americans as far back as 1900, but to me that little column screams DEED, in big bold blinking capital letters, go find the deed!
I have begun recording this information in my family tree using the standard event type: property. What about censuses before 1900? Starting in 1850 the government wanted an estimate of assets: real estate owned (land) and later added personal (furnishings). I also record this information in the property event. The GenDetective report “Asset information wasn’t recorded” tells me who I missed. Looking at this example, the one thing you may notice is a name may be listed multiple times, one time for each census where I did not record the information.
Returning to the census forms, what about all of those other columns? Some censuses recorded religious preferences, occupation, birth location of the person and their parents. While you were recording the information in the census, did you pick up all of this extra information? Back tracking through our family tree to see where we forgot to record information can be a daunting task.
These 10 GenDetective reports help you dig further into the census records you have already located. They are:
- Birth month wasn’t recorded
- Birth year wasn’t recorded
- Birth location wasn’t recorded
- Father’s birth location wasn’t recorded
- Mother’s birth location wasn’t recorded
- Asset information wasn’t recorded
- Religious affiliation wasn’t recorded
- Men’s occupation wasn’t recorded
- Women’s occupation wasn’t recorded
- The number of children wasn’t recorded
To find these invaluable reports, in the Reports By Task view navigate to:
- What information should I research?
- Missing census records
- Get more from the census records I have found
It’s been a while since I’ve run these reports, I need to go do that and record the additional information, and then see how that impacts the information I have about each grandparent.