I just want to look up some of my deceased relatives in the US Census. Isn't there an easy way to do this? I've been on the national archives site for an hour and can't find out how to do this simple thing!

I just want to look up some of my deceased relatives in the US Census. Isn't there an easy way to do this? I've been on the national archives site for an hour and can't find out how to do this simple thing!

  • Yes, you could register for Familysearch.org, enter in the search formthe names of your relatives, living or not, providing that they were alive on April 1, 1950 for the 1950 census, the last one made public.  You can narrow the hits on your family name by using the form and putting their residence and the year 1950, and you will get 1950 records.  The National Archives does have a 1950 census website that you could use as well.  If you are having trouble.... then tell us specifically one person who would be on the 1950 or earlier censuses (taken every ten years... 1940, 1930, 1920....).... name, age, birthplace, residence in that census year, other members of his or her family.... and we can help guide you with the process.

  • However in my case, all my family members names were killed by the OCR. Was able to figure out the ED from instructs here, and then plowed through all the sheets until on page 21 there they all were. And the OCR names were not even close. So, you may just have to do a tiny slog. Only 30 entries on each census sheet though, and using an iPhone was able to find them all in about half an hour. 
    I suggest you find the map that corresponds to County and City, then on the map find the second part of the ED by finding their street, then pull up the 30 something pages of data by plugging in the whole ED. And go page at a time until you find folks. ALSO! That search ability and the fields you use are not intuitive. Easy, but you’ll need to find the instructions to do the searches correctly. I wasn’t doing it correctly at first either. Only search first name last name on head of household. Everyone other than head of household only gets a first name search ability. And finding the ED is easy, after I read the instructions here.

  • If you had an address in a large city, you could have used our Unified Tool at https://stevemorse.org/census/unified.html to go from the streets on the block of the residence to links to the first page of the ED #, and avoid using ED maps entirely.