We can learn a lot about our ancestors from the U.S. Census Report. For example, did your ancestor live in a log cabin? What about their occupation? Did they attend school or go to work at an early age? The census report is one of the most useful tools for researchers because it helps us build a timeline of our family’s history, but what is it exactly? What does it tell us about our ancestors’ lives and how does it help us connect with living relatives who took the same DNA test as you did by showing shared ancestors between your match and yourself?
For each individual found in a census record, you will find their name, age or birth year, birthplace and residence.
For each individual found in a U.S. census records, you will find their name, age or birth year, birthplace and residence. The first U.S. census was conducted in 1790. The following is an example of the information you might find recorded on the page:
John Smith (age 36) born in PA; Sarah Smith (age 33) born in PA; Mary Smith (age 5) born in VA; Jesse Smith (age 3) born in VA; Elizabeth Smith (age 1) born in VA.
You can also see who lived in your ancestor’s home at the time of each census from other family members to boarders or servants.
While you can see the names of your ancestors in each census, it’s also important to know who else was living with them. You may be surprised by who was born or died in your ancestor’s home. For example, if someone was born on the same day as one of your ancestors and they were both living together when that person died, there is a strong possibility that they are related.
Also look for clues about where people lived before moving into their current homes. It could help you track down other relatives who might have lived in those areas earlier than your direct line did.
The information found on census records gives context to your family tree because it can reveal how your ancestors lived and what their life experiences were like.
The information found on census records gives context to your family tree because it can reveal how your ancestors lived and what their life experiences were like. Many people find themselves surprised by the information they find in a census record, even if they’ve known about that ancestor’s birthdate or death date for years.
Census records can provide insight into an ancestor’s occupation, name changes due to marriage or divorce, immigration from another country (or state), literacy levels, military service history and more.