Family Tree Friday: Getting Started With Census Records, Part 3

Last time I showed you what I found on my family by using the 1920 and 1900 censuses.

Most of the 1890 census was destroyed in a fire in the Commerce Department in the early 1920s, so I wasn’t able to use it. In 1880, however, I found what I had been looking for since I began my research – Nannie’s husband.

As before, I started my search for Nannie Crozier in Collin County, TX, since that’s where she was living in 1900. Nannie’s husband was named John R. Crozier, and he was listed as the head of the household. John R. was 35 years old. A farmer, he was born in Kentucky.

John R. and Nannie’s daughters, Mary (age 2) and Emma (age 5 months), were enumerated in the household. Lula, who we saw in the 1900 census, is not listed – she wasn’t born until a few years later.

Also living in the household were James Crozier, John R’s brother-in-law, who we saw in 1900 and 1920, and John Crozier – John R. and James’ father. John was 63 years old in 1880, so he was born around 1817. Like his son, John was a farmer. Unlike his sons, he was born in Pennsylvania rather than Kentucky.

Next I looked at the 1870 census in Collin County, TX. John Crozier (not to be confused with John R.) was listed as the head of household this time. He was 53 years old, and he was a farmer, just as he was in 1880. John R., 25 years old here, was a farm laborer. They may have worked together, possibly on a family farm. James was 20, and listed as being “at school.” Nannie was not listed as part of the Crozier family in 1870 because she and John were not yet married – she would only have been about 14 years old. On the last line of the entry for the Crozier family, I found an eleven year old girl named Alice Crozier. She was born in Kentucky, as were her siblings John R. and James.

1870 census Crozier

The new names I found (John and Alice), as well as their birth places (Pennsylvania and Kentucky), may lead me to additional records – I’ll look at the 1860 and earlier census records and see if I can figure out when the Crozier family left Kentucy and moved to Texas. It’s possible I may find even more unknown family names, which in turn could lead me to other records.

Census records are available on microfilm, as well as online at and

2 thoughts on “Family Tree Friday: Getting Started With Census Records, Part 3

  1. Many census records are also available for FREE at Heritage Quest through your local library, if it has a subscription. Many times you can access this database from home with your library card, although some libraries require that you use this service in house.

    Heritage Quest’s census database covers the 1790 – 1820, 1860 – 1920, and a partial coverage of 1930. To see if your library has a subscription to HeritageQuest, check out the links at the bottom of this web page:

    Lastly, many census records are available for FREE at FamilySearch’s new pilot RecordSearch site: Currently, they have the censuses from 1850 – 1920, including the 1850 slave and mortality schedules. Plans are in place to add the 1790 – 1840 and 1930 censuses as well.

    1. Hi Miriam,

      Heritage Quest is a great resource for census research – we have a subscription too, and make it available to onsite researchers at our facilities. I definitely should have listed it along with the other online resources; it was just an oversight that I didn’t.

      I need to check out the Family Search’s RecordSearch site. I’ve heard good things about it, but haven’t had the chance to take a good look at it yet.

      Thanks for the tips!

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