How to Research Your Genealogy through Census Records
A social studies and history teacher in Woonsocket High School since 1999, Anthony Cosentino, from Putnam, Connecticut, earned a bachelor of arts in history with a minor in secondary education from St. Johns University and later a master of art in history. In his hometown of Putnam, Anthony Cosentino also volunteers as a firefighter at the local fire department. True to his line of study and experience in social studies and history, he is passionate about genealogy research. Census records offer one way to track your ancestry.
To track your family heritage through census records, you require the ancestor or relative name and state of residence. Official records keeping started with the first federal population census in 1790. Since then, the count has occurred every 10 years. However, due to a 72-year census records access restriction, experts recommend that you begin with the 1940 census and then work backward to trace earlier generations. The national archives provide free census schedules from 1790 to 1940.
The census records provide, for 1850 to 1940, details of individuals in each household. The information ranges from the name, place of birth, parents’ birthplace, to crops grown, amongst other data. However, in some instances, only the household head is named-the others household members are categorized in selected age groups and gender.