Source Finder: Where to find personal data


When researching your family tree, it seems easier to find dates and places than it is to find personal information such as eye color, native language, or if they were denied the right to vote. Or is it?


Depending on the time period they lived, it may be easier than you think. Here's a list of information you can find on the census and which ones you can find the information in - assuming the census taker collected the information. For a variety of places to find census records, click here.


Birth

  • The person's birth month and year See the 1900 Census

  • The person's birth month if born within the past year See the 1870 & 1880 Census

  • The person's place of birth See the 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930 & 1940 Census

  • The person's race See the 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930 & 1940 Census

  • See more places to find Vital Records here

Parents Origins

  • Whether or not the person's father and/or mother was of foreign birth See the 1870 Census

  • Native language of the person's father and mother See the 1920 & 1930 Census

  • Birth place of mother and father See the 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920 & 1930 Census

  • See more places to find Foreign records here

Immigration

  • Whether the person was a Naturalized Citizen or an Alien See the 1910, 1920, 1930 & 1940 Census

  • Year of Immigration See the 1910, 1920 & 1930 Census

  • Year of Naturalization See the 1920 Census

  • See more Immigration resources here

Health/Personal

  • Whether or not the person was deaf, dumb, blind, insane or idiotic See the 1850, 1860, 1870 & 1880 Census

  • Eye Color (Men only) See the WWI Draft Registrations & WWII Draft Registrations

  • Height & Build (Men only) See the WWI Draft Registrations & WWII Draft Registrations

Education

  • Whether or not the person spoke English See the 1920 & 1930 Census

  • Whether or not the person could read and write See the 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1920 & 1930 Census

  • Whether or not the person attended school in the past year See the 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1920 & 1930 Census

  • Highest level of education See the 1940 Census

Marriage/Marital Status

  • The person's Marital Status See the 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930 & 1940 Census

  • Whether or not they were married in the past year See the 1850, 1860, 1870 & 1880 Census

  • The person's age at first marriage See the 1930 Census

  • Month married if within the past year See the 1870 Census

  • Number of years married See the 1910 Census

  • See more places to find marriage records here

Employment

Military

Property

  • The person's street address See the 1880, 1890 Veterans Census, 1900, 1910, 1930 & 1940 Census

  • The declared value of the person's personal estate See the 1870 Census

  • Whether or not the home was on a farm See the 1930 & 1940 Census

  • Whether or not the home was owned free or mortgaged See the 1920 Census

  • Whether the home was owned or rented See the 1920, 1930 & 1940 Census

  • The value of the home or rent See the 1850, 1860, 1870, 1930 & 1940 Census

  • Farm Schedules

  • See more land records & local histories here

Children

  • The person's relationship to the head of household See the 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930 & 1940 Census

  • Number of children born to mother See the 1900 & 1910 Census

  • Number of children living See the 1900 & 1910 Census

  • See more places to find Vital Records here

Slaves

  • Number of Slaves See the 1790-1840 Census & the 1850 & 1860 Slave Schedules

  • Number of Slave houses See the 1850 & 1860 Slave Schedules

Other

  • Whether or not there was a radio in the home See the 1930 Census

  • Whether or not they were denied the right to vote (men only) See the 1870 Census

For more ideas on resources you should be able to find for your ancestors, depending on when they lived, try my Year Checker tool. Just enter a year (from 1600 to 1989) and see what general resources should be available for people living in that time period. It's a work in progress, but may provide you with an idea or a clue you hadn't previously considered.


There are many other places to find personal information to bring your ancestors' stories to life. Local histories, newspapers, and biographies are just a few places. See my Genealogy Dashboard for tons of places to find free information about your ancestors and family.

#genealogy #tips #resources #brainstorming #ideas #census #sourcefinder

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