Family Search, Finding Records

Searching the US Census

Recently, someone asked for my help finding an ancestor on a US Census.

She had great luck with this method I suggested, so I thought I’d share…
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The Question:
Sharon, I am trying to look for someone on the US census and I do not know the Enumeration District. He was born in Scotland in 1890 and died in California 1968.
Any tips? Thanks!

My Reply:
Can you tell me what year or years are you searching?  That will help me be more specific on my suggestion.

In general, on FamilySearch.org, you can

Go to the main search page

https://familysearch.org/search/

Enter the information you know in the top few boxes
Then go a little lower (scroll down) where it says “Restrict Records”
Click Location and put in United States
Click Type and select Census
Then hit search

You also *may* be able to track him backward from his death records to try to find locations which may narrow your census search

You can try searching for death information on this California Search page:

https://familysearch.org/search/collection/location/11?region=United+States+of+America&englishRegion=United+States+of+America

Also, if he was in America during WWI or WWII, those draft cards are currently being indexed and many are available. They are a treasure trove. And, draft cards tend to be dated near a census, so if you can find a draft card, you can bounce off the information there to find the census (or visa versa).

WWI draft card index:

https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1968530?collectionNameFilter=false

WWII draft card index:

https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1861144?collectionNameFilter=false

Your ancestors may not be from California, so here’s a link to the FamilySearch search page.  Just scroll down, click the map of the US, and then select your state from the pop-up menu.

Best of luck searching4ancestors!

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