Question: Which U.S. decennial census is your favorite and why?

On April 2, 2012, the Federal Census Bureau will be releasing the 1940 Census for public access.  For many genealogists and researchers, the release of this census will open new insights into pre-war America, as well as provide opportunities for genealogists and family historians to continue their research into this most recent decade.  Like all previous censuses, the 1940 census will be available in all NARA facilities, this time in digital format (not just microfilm).

In light of this anticipated release (some genealogy blogs and sites have countdowns already!), NARA wants to know which census is your favorite.  Is it the very first census from 1790?  Or maybe you’ve had a lot of luck with a later census?  Tell us which census is your favorite, and why you find it so rewarding!

14 thoughts on “Question: Which U.S. decennial census is your favorite and why?

  1. My favorite is the 1900 census, because it not only includes the birth year but also the month. Often this information is just what I need to make a positive identification between an emigrant from the Netherlands and an immigrant in the US.

  2. The 1930 census, since it contains the most information. Also, more of my family members are in that census than any other 🙂

  3. My favorite is the 1900 census for month and year of birth, but I do find all of the census records useful in my research.

  4. Thanks for sharing your favorites! We always appreciate learning what our researchers like about our records.

  5. I agree that the 1900 census is valuable for the months of birth as well as the number of years married, although I’ve discovered that some census takers appear to have completely fabricated that data. (It will have no greater than chance correlation with other records that include the month such as birth registers or gravestones.)

    The happier flip side of that is discovering forms where the enumerator went “above and beyond” the requirements and entered extra data such as the county of birth (instead of just the state).

    Street addresses aren’t of any particular help to me since all of the people I research lived in rural areas that had no named streets, although I can certainly appreciate the fact that researchers with urban ancestry find the addresses valuable.

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