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This blog is full of information for applications to the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of Ohio. Check back often to learn more about producing a successful application. Click the email link at the bottom to be notified of new posts as they happen.

Our contact information is:
Ann Gulbransen, Historian, ohmayflowerhistorian@gmail.com
Lee Martin, Assistant Historian, buckeyemayflower@gmail.com

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Why include census records? First published in 2009

I receive a lot of applications that have overlooked census records. Yes, census records are secondary, but they can be really useful. I particularly like them when the source for birth is a death certificate. A census record that places the line carrier in the household of his/her parents corroborates the death certificate information. The 1900 census is extra useful as it includes the month and year of birth.
Census records before 1850 are not generally helpful unless you are looking only for the head of household. Census data from 1850 and later with every family member listed by name are wonderful records. Note that from 1850 to 1870, relationships were not specified so it really helps to find the same family group in several enumerations.
Now, census records are not always correct. Ages advance at impossible intervals, spelling can be quite creative and relationships mystifying, but on the whole, census records are a fantastic addition to almost every application.
So—where do you find them? If you have a subscription to Ancestry.com or genealogy.com, you have census records at your fingertips. But there is a free source available to any Ohio resident. Many local libraries have subscriptions to HeritageQuest. Your local library may even offer access to that subscription online.
If not, the Columbus Public Library offers access to any member—and any Ohio resident can become a member. Go to
http://www.columbuslibrary.org/ - click on the Library Card Application link and complete the online application. Once you get your library card, you will be able to log into their website and access HeritageQuest and its census images any time you want! You will also have access to all the other HeritageQuest content and a number of other online databases—all from your living room in your jammies!

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