Thursday, May 2, 2013

Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Census

The reference book Map Guide to the U. S. Federal Censuses, 1790 – 1920 by William Thorndale and William Dollarhide (Genealogical Pub. Co., 1987, Paperback, 420 pages) is a book I go to often. 

Most people find that locating and tracking their families back using census records is probably the easiest way to get started in tracing their families. Questions often arise when a researcher can’t find a family who had, according to family lore, lived for generations on the same land. Census records may indicate a possible move to a different county.

Several reference books list formation dates of counties and the “parent” counties, but viewing the changes as illustrated in this book makes it easier to understand realignment of county boundaries and changes of jurisdiction as the population changed and the area developed. County boundaries for the times of the various censuses (all decennial federal censuses available at the time of publication) are clearly overlaid on the present-day county map, so it is easy to see the actual shifts in boundaries, making known which county to go to for more information of a particular time period.  Additional information about the various census enumerations is also included.

You can find this invaluable reference book on our shelves under call number 973 X2th.

Contributed by: Eloise Dorman