Genealogy Countdown

I have been counting down the days until spring – 19 if you are counting with me in the U.S. I am also counting down the days until April 1st. Why? The 1950 U.S. Census will be released.

A new release of census records only occurs every 10 years. These records are released for public research once 72 years have passed. Why 72 years? No one knows exactly why, but there is an assumption this was the average lifespan at the time the “72 Year Rule” was put into place.

This is the census taken prior to and closest to my birth. I am not 100% sure where my parents lived at that time. My dad may have been living in military quarters. This census will answer those questions. It will also tell me information about my grandparents. I have learned a great deal from old census records regarding my family. I am hopeful there will be more revealed in this census.

The last time the census was released, the website crashed the day after. That shows how many researchers are waiting on these records. The census records are scanned using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and only certain fields will be transcribed for indexes on the National Archives website. That’s where volunteers come in.

Websites like Ancestry and Family Search depend on volunteers (like me) to transcribe many fields so more data is searchable. I have transcribed many records in the past – school roles, marriage certificates, court records, wills, etc.

It is a great way to volunteer from home and give back to fellow researchers. Our history is convoluted. Research shows that clearly. And these are not just unknown people annotated on a piece of paper. This is my family and your family. Our ancestors who, like us, would like to be remembered.

Tick tock. It won’t be long now.

“I mean, they say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time.”

33 thoughts on “Genealogy Countdown”

  1. We had the 1921 Census released recently. It takes 100 years here, even though the official census happens every 10 years, they are not released for 100 years. No idea why that is.
    (March the 1st was the offical start of Spring here. Then it started raining!)
    Best wishes, Pete.

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    1. That seems like a very long time, Pete. I have discovered some marriages not widely known, and names of children that died between census years, but nothing harmful.

      Sorry you had rain on the first day of spring. Hopefully it was not a downpour!

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  2. I am also very excited about its release. In regards to Pete’s comment, England does seem to have a longer time period for other records too. I was able to get the lawsuit and divorce records about my grandmother in 2019, 100 years after they were sealed for 100 years.

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    1. That is a great find, Elizabeth. I would love to find my grandfather’s divorce papers. I have my great grandfather’s divorce papers (he was a scoundrel).

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      1. They make fascinating reading, don’t they. Mine had a detective find my grandmother and grandfather living in Bloomsbury as “husband and wife.”

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        1. Mine was not so pleasant. My Great Grandfather was accused of beating his wife. He even had his children hit her. Thankfully my grandfather was not yet born.

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  3. That’s interesting, The Census is only released every 100yrs! I hope you find the information you crave.
    I always find that Banksy saying so sad.
    It’s true though💜💜

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