Resources Between Census Years Provide Vital Information

Resources Between Census Years Provide Vital Information

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  1. Using clues about your ancestor from the 1910 US Census can help you identify additional resources generated between census years.  Other resources such as birth, marriage, and death records provide more major types of information not given on the census.

    Extract the following information on the 1910 US Census to link to resources provided below:

    • age
    • birth place of person and parents
    • number of years married
    • number of children (mother)
    • number of living children (mother)
    • year of immigration and if naturalized
    • occupation
    • own farm or home
    • mortgage

    Census research is very popular because researchers can learn a great deal about the entire family group on the census.  Checking the dynamics of the family group each census year will reveal great clues, but it is more appropriate to use those clues to locate other types of historical documentation where you can learn even more.

    Resist the urge to approximate vital information, and verify information gleaned on the census.  The information provided on a census is only as reliable as the source of information, enumerator, and in the case of electronic documents, legibility of the original record.

    Clues From the 1910 US Census

    age and birth place:  Use the age and birth place provided on the census to locate a possible birth record which may reveal:

    • names of parents
    • surname of mother
    • birth date and place

    Use the FamilySearch Wiki to find out when birth records began to be kept for your ancestor’s place of birth.  For example, search "South Carolina vital records".  The first article listed explains that births were not recorded until 1915, but the county clerks have delayed birth registrations from post 1915.  Ancestors from South Carolina who applied for work or social security later in life and were born before birth certificates were recorded needed to apply for a delayed birth certificate.

    years married:  Use the number of years married to calculate the marriage date.  Use the FamilySearch Wiki to determine when marriage dates began to be recorded for the locality where the couple possibly married.  If you do not know where they married, begin by searching for a marriage record in the same place the oldest child was born.  A marriage record may reveal a birth information, parent’s names, and a female spouse’s surname.

    number of children:  The 1910 US Census gives the number of children the mother birthed.  Subtracting the number of living children from this total will tell you how many children died.  Check to see how many of the living children are listed at home.  You may find some are not accounted for because they are a part of a different household nearby or in a different area.

    Use a database such as Record Search ( where you can search the death records.  Instead of searching for the children’s names at first, search using the only parent’s names, and you may discover more children who were born between census years and not listed on any census with the family group.  

    own farm or home:  If your ancestor owned a farm or home, you may find them listed in a deed index.  Deeds are not commonly used in researching ancestry, however, often these records will mention the name of a spouse or child or other extended family member.  If the deed index lists the words "et al,"  the property may include information about family relationships.

    Be sure to check for wills or probate records.  In many old county probate records in South Carolina,  brooms, cooking utensils, and other items you do would not consider valuable were probated.  If you are trying to reconstruct the family group or you cannot locate the identity of the previous generation, you may discover family names mentioned among wills and probate records.

    Search FamilySearch Wiki for deeds and estate records in your ancestor’s county or parish record.
    Example:  See "Abbeville County South Carolina" at FamilySearch Wiki to see available resources.  Be sure to look for the Family History Library Catalog link in each of these articles because it will connect you to available resources in the Family History Library for that particular area.  

    immigration/naturalization:  The 1910 US Census provides the year an ancestor immigrated and if he or she was naturalized.  Read more about US Emigration and Immigration and US Naturalization and Citizenship at FamilySearch Wiki.

    Hopefully, you will be able to connect to some of these resources to substantiate you census findings. 

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