Monday, March 10, 2008

The Census History Website Launched Today

(Note to Podcast listeners: I've been down with the flu, and though I'm on the mend, unfortunately have lost my voice. I'll let you know when the new episode is published, but until then, I'll be talkin' to ya on this blog)

It's Here! The new U.S. Census Bureau website which Bill Maury, Chief of History Staff at the U.S. Census Bureau told us about in Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode #43 launched today. It's an in depth look at one of our most important genealogical resources. At first glance some of the topics might appear lean, but be sure and keep and eye on the "In This Section" links on the left side of the page. That's where you can drill down to find:
  • Complete listings of the census directors since 1790 and the influence they had on it's collection.
  • Geography and Mapping data - this may prove helpful to those trying to locate elusive ancestors
  • The Economic Census which has measured our economic activities since the first census of manufactures in 1810.
Of particular interest to my household is the background information and photographs about the taking of the census. My husband's great grandfather Lars Johan (L.J.) Larson was an enumerator in his hometown of Winthrop, Sibley County, MN in 1900. (see his signature below) At the time, the 29 year old was establishing his business career in Winthrop, and he later became mayor of the town in 1904.

In fact it was on the home page of this new website that I learned that L.J. would have been the last to walk the streets of Winthrop knocking on his neighbors doors in the warmth of June. That's because Census Day was moved from June to April starting with the 1910 because Census Bureau Director Edward Dana Durand thought that less people were likely to be away from home on vacation in the springtime.

Bill Maury and the Census Bureau staff would like Genealogy Gems listeners and readers input on the website. Email your comments, and what you would like to see on the website to Lisa at Genealogy Gems and will I deliver them directly to Bill's email box.

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