Friday, October 14, 2022

1950 Census - Another Milestone

Back in 2012, I was really excited about the release of the 1940 US Census - I called it once in a lifetime and it was. But low and behold, these past 10 years have gone by fast and another 'once' is happening. The 1950 census data has been released.

72 years ago, census takers where going around the country gathering information about the population. My my mom was 12 years old and growing up in small town Wisconsin. As a matter of fact, her home town (and mine) had a population that was about 4.5 times smaller than it is today. 1950 ushered on an era of prosperity and growth for much of the country. World War II was in the rear view mirror and the future looked bright. In my own family search, many of the boys and girls from the 1940 census are adults and starting families of their own by 1950 and there are new names in the lists - new children who were not yet born in 1940. There are also those that have disappeared from the record, yes, some have died in the intervening years. The census brings home the the full circle of life in cold hard facts.

Thanks to modern technology, i.e. the Internet, amateur genealogists like myself can amass large amounts of information in a rather short amount of time and with relative ease. The census records have become the bedrock of my research and I find it to be the best place to start when searching for information. I first got eyes on real census data back in 2000 when the 1900 census came on line and ever since, I have been constantly surprised an delighted at what one could find about one's family history from these 10 year snap shots of America.    

So now the work of searching has begun. Using the 1940 records in my collection, I have started the process of looking up those same folks and sometimes their children in the 1950 census. I am searching at and am very appreciative that they have decided to make both the 1940 and 1950 census records available for free. They make it easy but there is still some serious time to be spent looking for all of those folks.

1950 United States Census enumerators using
pre-computer machines to tabulate the data. 

My thoughts about this great event, the release of the 1950 census, are not much different then what I was thinking 10 years ago about the 1940 release. If your interested, you can read about it here. In the mean time, I'm off, wish me luck.

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