Here are links to recent posts by Judy G. Russell, The Legal Genealogist, about the 1950 census:
Time Travel with NARA, 1 Apr. 2022
A Decade More, 3 Apr. 2022
The 1950 Census release launched today at https://1950census.archives.gov. It includes a partial name index: primarily first names plus surnames for heads of households and persons in the household with a different surname. The index has a lot of inaccuracies due to optical character recognition (OCR) attempting to decipher the handwriting of 140,000 census enumerators. However, having at least a partial index online on Day 1 is wonderful. Most of the people I was interested in looking for I could find using the name index and some common sense, and if that didn’t work, I knew where to find ED descriptions and maps. I also spent time using the transcription tool to improve the discoverability of whole pages in order to help other researchers; I didn’t limit myself to just the people in which I was I was interested. Please help NARA improve the index by transcribing. Your transcriptions become discoverable by others about 24 hours after you input them.
Having spent virtually all day answering reference questions from Twitter, emails, and posts on the History Hub, it’s clear that there’s a few things that the researcher community needs to understand a little better. Among these, in no particular order:
(1) Census schedules exist for overseas American military and civilian personnel in Alaska, Hawaii, American Samoa, Canton [Kanton] Island, Guam, Johnston Island, Midway Island, Panama Canal Zone, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Wake Island. That’s it. Not in Germany, not in Japan, not anywhere else.
(2) If the census schedule says the “Not at home” household is on page 71 or higher, do not give up because there are “only 20” pages (or whatever) for the Enumeration District. Go to the last image, look at the Sheet Number in the upper right corner of the page. See if it is Sheet 71 or higher, and then work your way back a few pages until you get to page 71 or whatever page your “Not at home” household is on. Read my blog post for more information on what Page 71 and up.
(3) Yes, you can download individual images. Look for the three dots below the blue box that says “Help Us Transcribe the Names” and click on those three dots. You will then be given an opportunity to download: Click on the word download. Choose the level of quality you want (more pixels are better).
(4) You can share a link to an entire ED. You can also share a link to a single page if you’ve searched by name. Being old school, I copy and paste the link my browser shows, but there is a share feature that can do that, too.
(5) Learn by doing. If you’re not sure what one of the features in https://1950census.archives.gov does, click on it. Words in blue or highlighted in blue are clickable links. Gray features also often clickable. Play with it.
(6) https://stevemorse.org has a lot of great tools for census research – and more. Become familiar with them. Use them.
(7) NARA has provided a lot of useful resources with identical content at https://1950census.archives.gov/howto and https://www.archives.gov/research/census/1950. Read pertinent 1950 census blog posts: https://twelvekey.com/blog-posts-on-other-sites.
(8) Only one side of the census form was microfilmed in 1952. The original paper records were destroyed in 1961-63. Side 2 does not exist.
Ok, thanks for reading! Let’s go transcribe some more!
Get ready now with a sneak-peek from Michael Knight in NARA’s Genealogy Series: The 1950 Census Website: Design, Development, and Features to Expect, that premiered today, 30 March 2022. Researchers will be able to search by state, county, Enumeration District, name, and Indian Reservation.
The name search feature will not return perfect results on Day 1, however, for reasons outlined in the blog post, 1950 Census: Please Help NARA Refine the Draft Name Index! Researchers can help themselves — and everyone — by using the easy-to-use transcription tool to add complete names.
NARA Cartographic Records staff member Amanda Pritchard brings you up to speed in “Census Enumeration District Maps for 1940 and 1950 Available Digitally in Our Catalog.”
No April fool’s joke here. It really is just one year – 365 days – to the digital opening of the 1950 U.S. federal population census on April 1, 2022, 72 years after the official 1950 census day.
Keep up with 1950 census news and information. Here are some recent blog posts you may have missed:
Preparing for the 1950 Census by Archivist of the United States David Ferriero.
Countdown to the 1950 Census from NARA Catalog staff
Register at the History Hub and follow the “Census Records” community. We’re aiming to publish one 1950 census blog post a week to opening day.
Successful accomplishment of a project requires a plan. If that project involves other people, they need to be trained to do the task correctly the first time. No do-overs, please!
The Bureau of the Census needed to hire and train 140,000 enumerators (all temporary workers) to count 152.3 million people during the course of the 1950 census. A four-month training plan was devised beginning with “Chief Instructors” who taught “Instructors” who taught “Crew Leaders” who then taught the Enumerators. The time schedule was tight for a reason. If you train people too far in advance of when before they need the information, they will forget important details. Adapted from 1950 Census: It Took More Than 148,000 People to Make it Happen!
The “countdown clock” to the right shows you how many days remain until the digital opening of the 1950 census on 1 April 2022. It will be here faster than you think! Time to get ready!
Therefore, I’ve started writing about the 1950 census on the History Hub website with the first installment today: “1950 Census: How the Census Forms and Procedures Were Developed.”
There’s still 5.7 years to go until the release of the 1950 Census on 1 April 2022, but the National Archives and Records Administration has been working for some time to get ready for that event.
Enumeration District maps involve no privacy restrictions so they can be made available to the public at any time. In “Snapshot USA: 1950 Census Enumeration District Maps,” staff member Ellen Mulligan describes the maps and the behind-the-scenes work needed to get them online.