IN THIS EDITION -- March 14, 2002

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Ancestry Races to Post 1930 Census Online

 

Ancestry.com isn't wasting any time adding the soon-to-be-released 1930 US census to its online database of census images. The company plans to post a portion of the 1930 census on its Web site just hours after the National Archives releases the microfilmed records to the public on April 1. Once the entire 1930 census is online (Ancestry.com officials predict it will be complete within three months), online census subscribers will be able to search records containing 137 million individuals.

The 1930 census includes names of all persons living in each home, their relationship to the head of household, if the family owns a radio or a farm, whether the individuals attended school or college, if they can read or write, each person's place of birth, citizenship status and occupation. By the end of next year, Ancestry hopes to index the census as well. For more information or to subscribe (costs range from $24.95 to $99.95), visit www.ancestry.com/search/io/about/main.htm?lfl=i.

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African-American Joins Daughters of Confederacy

 

The United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) has a new member who doesn't exactly fit the stereotype of a a Confederate heritage supporter. Nessa B. Johnson is a black historian and activist who learned through genealogical research that she had two great-uncles who were white Confederate soldiers, the Associated Press reports. She may also have some white ancestors who arrived in Virginia in 1608. "If they are my ancestors, I am part of what caused slavery," she says. The UDC invited Johnson to join its Richmond, Va., chapter in December, and she accepted. Membership is open to any female at least 16 years old who is a blood descendant of Confederate soldiers and supporters during the Civil War. Visit www.hqudc.org to learn more.

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Census Schedules from 1940 through 2000

 

In accordance with privacy laws, census schedules remain confidential for 72 years, which is why the 1930 census will not be released for public inspection until April. The 1940 enumeration will be released in 2012; the 1950 census will not be public until the year 2022.

Special procedures allow you to obtain some information from census records collected from 1940 through 2000. The Census Bureau provides an age search service (see www.census.gov/genealogy/www/agesearch.html) for the public. The service is called Age Search because it was developed to assist individuals trying to prove their age in order to receive retirement benefits, apply for a passport or resolve other age-related issues.)

The Census Bureau will search the census and issue an official transcript of the results, but the information will be released only to the named person, heirs of the named person, or that person's legal representative. Here is a summary of the process:

* An application for Search of Census Records, Form BC-600, must be completed. To obtain the form, write to the US Department of Commerce, Box 1545, Jefferson, IN 47131, or look online.
* If the named person is deceased, a copy of the death certificate must be provided. Immediate family members (parent, child, sibling, grandparent), the surviving spouse, the administrator or executor of an estate, or the beneficiary by will or insurance can apply, and the relationship must be stated on the application. A legal representative must furnish a copy of the court order so naming him, and a beneficiary must furnish legal evidence of that status.
* The official transcript lists the person's name, relationship to household head, age, and state/country of birth. Citizenship is provided for a foreign-born person. The search fee is currently $40 for one census for one person, plus an additional $10 for a full schedule. Information on other family members costs another $40 to $50 each. Full schedules are not available for 1970 through 2000. Personal checks and money orders are accepted, but no credit cards. Processing time is three to four weeks.

-Excerpted from Your Guide to the Federal Census by Kathleen W. Hinckley, $18.99. Reprinted here with permission from the publisher, Betterway Books. Available in bookstores or online at www.familytreemagazine.com/store/display.asp?id=70525.

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1881 Canadian Census on CD-ROM

 

The much-anticipated Canadian census of 1881 is now available on CD-ROM through www.familysearch.org. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has transcribed the records of 4.3 million people and put them on a four-disc database for researchers. Here's what you'll find on the CDs: name, age, gender, location at the time of the census, birthplace, ethnic origin, occupation, religious affiliation, marital status and notations. Included in the census were the residents of British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and the Northwest Territories. (In 1881, the Northwest Territories encompassed what are now the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan and parts of historical Manitoba, Quebec and Ontario, plus the Territory of Yukon and the western part of the Territory of Nunavut.)

The CD set costs $11 and can be ordered from www.familysearch.org (click Order/Download Products, then Software Products, then Census and Vital Records).

Get highlights from Family Tree Magazine's guide to tracing Canadian ancestors at www.familytreemagazine.com/ethnic.asp?id=1138.

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Remember Your Living Sources

 

A tip from Lisa J. Yates of West Clarksville, NY:

"I have been actively researching my family for about two years. I have a wonderful resource that I hope no one would ever overlook. My great-aunt is in her mid-80s and her mind is very good. She has provided me with a wealth of information, along with her years of genealogical research in paper form. I have saved everything she has given me and filed them under titles, such as censuses, historian letters, etc. She has given me letters written by family members dating back to the late 1800s. I have copied all of them, enlarging the print and darkening or lightening as needed. The reasons for this are twofold: to provide her the ability to read these old, faded letters and to preserve the past in case something were to happen to the originals. My aunt and I have found some very helpful leads just by reading and rereading these letters.

"While everyone is discovering the ease of online genealogy, it is important not to forget how much can be gleaned from an older relative and a paper trail. It has been very gratifying to see my aunt's excitement as together we have found two cousins this year and continue to add new family members. Also don't forget to pass your enthusiasm and documented research on to the next generation. It should serve as more than a hobby but instead as a family heirloom to be passed from generation to generation."