ANNOUNCING US Census image sourcing.

+19 votes

I have been busy uploading 'my' collection of Census sheets that hold dozens of 'other folks' besides my kin.  I had been trying to make all the connections myself - but I need MAJOR help (as the 1790 sheets can hold approx 120 FAMILIES; sourcing possibly 600 profiles).  

I have found that many, many folks are not even listed here at Wikitree (yet),  There have been several discussions on the notion of "creating profiles" to make each of the connections, then "orphaning" them for actual descendants to adopt (or merge with profiles that previously had wrong dates or places). That is almost as time consuming as the searches for variations on each name.


with each profile needing

Category: US Census YEAR


Category: COUNTY, STATE  (which should be in the file name of every sheet)

If you have Census sheets attached to any of your kin, by adding Space: YEAR_United_States_Federal_Census  it can be added to the collection for further connections (neighbors are often relatives).

This should work well with One Place studies as they form.  I am also working on a free space page that lists every County & years available for Census.

in Requests for Project Volunteers by Debra Allison G2G6 Mach 3 (38.3k points)
retagged by Debra Allison
OMG!!! I have had something like this in the back of my mind since joining WT and getting involved with other projects. So VERY glad you took this up.

I would love to help.

Let me ask you this, do you have the whole state of or just certain pages? (edited because I didn't read your entire post first)

I think this is a TERRIFIC idea. Not only for One Place Studies, but also in the several other projects.  I'm working on Arkansas in the CW, Arkansas population in general since I have deep AR roots, Jester One Name Study, World Disasters_Tornados_Tri-State (MO-IL-IN)
Welcome Janette!!

Kathleen & I are just finishing up the Excel sheet that tells us which Counties were in each Census. We will be separating them (images) in a bit.  Just mine alone for 1850 are at least 60 images.  I think you'll find a few in every year after 1840, (it wasn't a State in 1830). Mine went through Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana; or Maine, New York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Colorado, Idaho, & Washington.  Feel free to start anywhere you choose.


3 Answers

+6 votes
Best answer
Hi, Debra

I'm interested in helping with your project.  Though I have some questions, like - are you using a particular source for you images?  Even the early census has many pages, should there be some division by state or smaller?  Should we think about links to the ONPlace category pages?  Is it just posting the image or will there be some transcription?  Anyway, I would love to help.
by Kathleen Heath G2G6 Mach 2 (20.6k points)
selected by Debra Allison
Thanks Kathleen,

Most of the many hundreds of them I have, I inhierited from my late Father's late Aunt.  (sounds like they need coffee), along with hundreds of birth & death certificates.  I have got most all of the documents scanned, but still have an entire trunk of photos to scan, when I figure out who is who in them.  I have also run into several others who have entire sheets posted, that we can add to the project to complete neighborhoods.

The only ones that would need any transcription, are those pre-1850; and those are indeed a challenge. But having the location listed on each sheet is essential.  All attached profiles need the COUNTY, STATE  and the US Census YEAR ~ categories.
+10 votes
Debra, Please explain more.  I really don't understand the scope of your "project."

First, have you discussed the categories you propose with the Categorization Project?  What is the purpose of adding the category "US Census 1790" to the profile of every person appearing on the US 1790 census? Wouldn't the category become too big to be helpful almost immediately?

And doesn't the proposal to create profiles for people on a US Census and then merge the profile with a profile that might exist on WikiTree go against WikiTree's guidance on not creating duplicates?  Given that birth years on the census can vary by 10 years or more and that names are misspelled in many ways, several different profiles could created for the same person, and they would all have to be merged.
by Vic Watt G2G6 Pilot (335k points)
Random thoughts.

1. Do we need to document these images?  Where did they come from?

2. It might be helpful to provide background on each particular Census, what is in it, what changed, info about the enumerator training, etc.

3. Provide a blank copy with a clear description of what is in each heading.

4. I know some of this is done elsewhere, maybe a link to that site?
And Here:

Also: How about the other census records, nonpopulation census, agricultural, veterans.

And this is just the US Census.  What about other countries Census's?

I have been working with Andrea Powell on refining the Category needs trying to make sure that they work well with other projects that might need the info. And have asked Keith McDonald to help as well.

Creation of profiles should only be done after all appropriate searches have been done.  I have found far more duplicates of people I'm NOT looking for than profiles, already made.

Until yesterday, I was attempting to connect each sheet to at least one profile besides the Space page.

It's easy enough for mine, but there are several others who have collected their own kins' sheets, & may not be attached to the Project yet.

On each of the pre-1850 Space pages I have listed the questions, in the order they are to be on the sheets.  Most folks don't realize that until 1840, each District had to provide their own 'paper', which is why the early Census often "look" so different from each other.

While they don't seem to give us a lot of information - they tell us who held slaves (we already have a Category "Slavery in America",

You also raise a very good point on *additional* Census - shortly after the 1990 Census, we did a 'Census of Special Places', where we enumerated Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Asylums, Jails & the like.  A few weeks later we performed a "Homeless Census", where we interviewed under bridges, in soup-lines, and nightly shelters.  Many people don't realize that that Dept of Comm keeps some Census workers on for years, in each Census.  I do have a few sheets from odd &/or State Census, but not nearly on the scope as I do on regular Census.
+4 votes

EEEE!!!  A WikiTree-er after my own heart ;)  I'm working on my own little project that I think fits in really well with what you are trying to do here:|

I'm kind of unofficially working on a One Place Study for Knox County and this has been by far the best thing I've tried and was even able to bring one of my lines back a generation!  I transcribed and coded the 1850 census for this county and am putting links into the coded boxes rather than using images, though, but that has mostly been for my own sake.  

It has kind of evolved since I started it, too, and I have actually been using it as a guide for cleaning up Wiki Tree.  So if people are worried about this making too many duplicates, it actually has done the opposite for the most part as I've been able to see merges that needed to be made.  My "go to" source is Find a Grave and I kind of work up and down family lines there and get additional sources if I can find them.  A lot of it feels like I'm making "placeholders" for profiles that other people can work on and fill out if they want to.  There have been several people who have contacted me who are new to Wiki Tree and were excited that their ancestors already had a page! So I think it is really good for the community to make these profiles, especially since Wiki Tree can be overwhelming for newbies and it is encouraging for them to have one less thing to worry about figuring out (making new profiles).  And then again, if more experienced Wiki Tree-ers are making the profiles, we're more aware of what makes a good profile.  I've gone back to a lot of the profiles I made earlier and find better sources and/or clean up the ones I originally had.  I've also been hesitant about making new ones if I can't find a Find a Grave page for that person (that's probably one of the best places to go for dates), so I'm saving those profiles for later when I can investigate deeper, but right now I'm going after the easier ones.  Also, I've got free space where I'm keeping track of things I need to go back and categorize later, like Civil War units.

Back to my own personal study of Knox County and how it would be a little different from this bigger census project, I have a spreadsheet that I use to keep track of who I have and who I still need to find.  I did make a directory for other people to use if they want, but I haven't personally used it much.  Also when I'm working on it, I try to keep people connected.  If I have a Person B that I want to add to my census project, I make sure there is a Person A already on the project that they are connected to.  A lot of times it is a future spouse.  I know these people are all connected and I'm trying to get the lines sorted out in 1850 to have a good sort of structure for later generations.

Sorry, I could go on and on about this and I'm not sure how much sense I'm making so perhaps I should stop for now!  I really love what you are doing, Debra, and would love to help if there is anything I can do :)  I think having the original sheets organized like that is a wonderful idea and a good place to start.  Again, my transcriptions help me with my studies and would probably be more like a "bonus" to this one.

by B Higdon G2G Crew (640 points)

Exactly!  We haven't figured a way to tie the actual images to the Census sheet to the 'place' that they are enumerating; which is why the Category is in 2 parts, as of yet.  But putting the PLACE into the Individual Census Categories, might be an option.  I have found that many of my kin will stay in one place for decades, with the place often changing names, making it appear that they've moved.

There will be a Space page created that helps us to know when we "won't" find them (because the County or State, isn't recognized yet).  And then we must look to the Special Census'.
Totally get what you mean there!  I may have started transcribing the wrong district when I first started . . .  There were 3 ares in Knox County in 1850, 15 and 31, but then there was also one for the city of Knoxville.  I thought the first pages of 15 were missing and I was going to have to just start with Family 265, but then when I went to transcribe Knoxville about a month ago, I realized that the census taker started with "Family 1" being in Knoxville and just made a line and kept going for District 15?  I am very glad that I figured this out *before* contacting the Knoxville historical societies and embarrassing myself!

Just before I started working on my census project, I did start to make categories for different census districts and it ended up being really helpful. I'm not sure all the kinks were worked out and my head hurts just thinking of trying to untangle everything again!  I would go through from one census to the next and think, "Oh, I didn't realize they moved, maybe they got a deal on a farm over here."  Then I would work on their sibling's family, "Oh, maybe they bought the farm together then split it?"  Then some random in-law, "Okay, wait a minute!"  Then I would take a look at the actual pages and see pretty much the same families in the same order as the census before!  I don't live in the area and I'm not sure I have even visited Knoxville, so it might be easier to figure out how the boundaries changed for a native?  And it really *is* helpful to have them broken down into smaller districts, in 1850 there were like 250 pages for District 15, 100 for 31, and 40 for Knoxville.  Later on when they had "Ward 3" or "District 14", it seems like there were just a handful per district, which was really nice for narrowing people down into smaller groups.

Did I mention I can go on and on about this? :P  When I first started here at Wiki Tree and was reading through all the info about how it works, one of the things that really stuck out for me was that everyone who ever lived should have a profile on here.  Not possible, but still a dream to aim towards.  I keep thinking about that as I'm working and using the census like this seems like such a Wiki Tree thing to do!  Thank you so much for all the work you have done on this! :D
B. Higdon, I've been doing the same thing, Unofficial OPS by giving category tags to all my Arkies.   And we may need to discuss Higdons soon. Any go to AR? particularly Lafayette and Columbia Co. I've got Guy and Clifford Higdon there, altho they are fairly recent in genealogy terms. post 1900. I'll get back with my Higdon Cousin and then back to you.
I just read through your post a few times and then I saw your name and profile and I started laughing at what a small world it is!  Going to send you a PM about Higdons, Arkansas, and Jesters :)
OMG!! Don't tell me we're related!!!
Just sent you a very long bit of gibberish :P  I have some Jester in-laws and even though the coincidences are on different lines, they are still kind of crazy and I'm going to be really disappointed if our lines don't cross somewhere!

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266 views asked Jan 30, 2021 in Genealogy Help by Bill Feidt G2G6 Mach 3 (38.3k points)

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