Genealogy: Where you confuse the dead & irritate the living....

Surnames: Calaway, Dunn, Evans, Johnson, Lindsey, Rollins, Short & Williams

States: Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, S. Carolina, Tennessee, Texas

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Census Cards....

Census cards? What the heck are census cards? I've never heard of them! Me But I was getting tired of when I did need to re-view one of the copies I had on file & not being able to read most of them. (((NOTE: I'm not going to say it was necessarily because of my "old" eyes either! lol))) Most of you will find, if you haven't already, the copies of census' on-line aren't the best copies, plus you have to factor in the bad handwriting as well. Seems like my ancestor's always got the enumerator who was deemed to be a doctor, because they definitely had the bad handwriting part down pat! Or if there was a copy of a census that was blurred or it darken as it went down the page (to the point where you couldn't read it), then you can bet your bottom dollar that was my folks listed at the bottom of the page. ***sigh***

What's a person to do, right? Luckily I do have a decent graphic editor program that I can manipulate the copy enough some of the time to a some what readable stage.....not always, but fairly often. For those census' that nothing can be done to improve, I have to do a bit of detective work to figure them out. How? By getting the previous/next census for that family & compare them, see if I find a pattern & figure out who is who.

Therefore, & as I said at the first, I was getting tired of when I needed to go back into my census' & having to start from scratch in trying to read the darn thing. That's when the idea of making up "Census Cards" came about. I took out my handy dandy 5" x 8" index cards :-) & made a card for each census I had a copy of. I realize 95% of you will not find the need for doing such a thing or think it would be worth your time/effort....but it sure has been handy for me to have them & I thought I'd share it with you all.

Below I have given examples from 3 different census years so you can see what I put on them:

Not only will these cards be nice whenever I need to go back & look at a particular census, but they will be easy to take with me on any research trip I make in the future. Another good thing about having census cards, you can make any addition notes on the back.....such as their neighbors, the value of their property, etc. I do not write on my copies of the census' but I don't mind a bit in doing so on these.

NOTE: I came up with these census cards for myself, it is not something you have to do for your own genealogy by any means. I just like sharing different ideas on genealogy....& in doing so, you might find something useful for your own genealogy.

Later, Deb

1 comment:

Rose Mary said...

Those cards are really a great idea, Aunt Deb. I know we need to keep copies of the original census, but I can see the cards being much handier to read. And you are right, I keep going back to the same ones and have to figure them out all over again~having a ready interpretation would be much handier!

I'm enjoying these tips that you are giving. This sounds like one that I can work on when the weather turns nasty and cold and I can't go outside.