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1. Question: Why are some census records missing?
Answer: No one knows for sure, but a prime suspect for some is the War of 1812, when the British burned portions of Washington, D.C. Some may have been destroyed then since the censuses for a number of states for 1810 and before are missing. But then, why are many other censuses for this period available? If some were destroyed, why weren't the others? Perhaps they were not all gathered in one place at that time.
One then wonders why the 1820 census is missing for a number of states. It is also interesting that so many censuses prior to 1830 are missing for the states west of the original colonies. Perhaps they were not as well taken care of as those to the east.
There are few federal territorial censuses extant before 1830. That may be because they were not taken. For example, apparently there was no 1790 enumeration conducted for the Territory Northwest of the River Ohio.
2. Question: Why are there no colonial censuses?
Answer: Actually there are some available such as:
New York 1698
Rhode Island 1774
There are a number of partial ones that exist for a city or a county. These will be included in our project possible.
3. Question: How can you create a census when there was none taken?
Answer: It will require a two-phase approach.
a. Information will be combined from many sources including, but not limited to: tax lists, legislative petitions, voter's lists, state and federal land records, military lists, etc., in order to construct the basic foundation of a list of potential heads of households.
b. Once the foundation is laid, the structure (members of the family, ages, birthplaces, etc.) will be built using records familiar to every genealogist such as probate, land, military, vital, and published histories and genealogies.
4. Question: How is a census useful for genealogical research?
Answer: Probably there is no record that contains as much information about so many individuals for so long a period as the federal population schedules beginning in 1790.
One of the greatest values of a census is its ability to locate a person in a specific time and place. With this information, one will understand better what other records to use to find additional details about an individual.
Another major benefit of a census is the large amount of information it provides about individual families.
5. Question: Why are
legislative petitions important for research?
Answer: Value of Petitions
6. Question: How were
names that were difficult or impossible to read extracted?
Answer: Name entry guidelines