Monday, December 26, 2011

Cincinnati: Searching the Census by Address

I recently posted "Finding Smith, Jones and every other Tom, Dick and Harry in the Census" on my personal blog giving an example of using Obtaining Enumeration Districts (EDs) and Streets  for the 1900-1940 Census. I was looking for Loretta Smith in New York City with very few details other than a name and address.  The good news is that Obtaining Enumeration Districts is also available for many other large cities including Cincinnati!

In Cincinnati, we have the added advantage of the online access to most Cincinnati City Directories on the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County's Virtual Library. Downloadable directories are available for most years from 1819-1934.  A name and address from a record you know pertains to your ancestor is all you need to get started. You can track family moves using the online directories to aid in determining their residence in a census year.

In the 20th Century, many records include an address should you not be able to positively identity your ancestor in directories. Death registrations, cemetery records, social security applications, obituaries and other news items, etc., are just a few of the records that might include your ancestor's residence. Many of these records are available online.

Once you have an address, use  Obtaining Enumeration Districts to quickly locate your ancestor in the census. Clicking on 'View Microfilm' will take you to the enumeration district on Ancestry.com. Page forward through the enumeration district to find the street address.

While the example in my blog dealt with a common surname, the technique is also effective for finding families whose surnames were prone to misspelling in the census. There are some amazingly creative renditions of names in the census! Wally Huskonen wrote about using the tool in Getting Ready to Research in the 1940 Census. When the census is first released, it will not include a name index. But you will be able to search by street address.

Thanks again to all the people who provide access to these important historic records and research tools! This is but one of Steve Morse's One-Step Tools for locating your ancestor in records. For more see One-Step Webpages by Stephen P. Morse.

Happy Boxing Day!

Sources:
Huskonen, Wally. "Getting Ready to Research the 1940 Census." Ohio Genealogy News, Winter 2011, page 22.

Morse, Stephen P., Joel D. Weintraub and David R. Kehs.  Obtaining EDs for the 1900-1940 Census in One Step (Large Cities). http://stevemorse.org/census/ : 2006.

Stratton, Liz. "Finding Smith Jones and Every Other Tom, Dick and Harry in the Census." Attics and Old Lace. http://atticsandoldlace.blogspot.com/2011/12/tuesdays-tip-finding-smith-jones-and.html : 20 December 2011.

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