Census records are some of the most valuable for family history research, especially those starting in the mid-1800s when all members of a household were listed. This is true for the United States, Canada and England. Once you have your core family history collected and organized, as discussed in Part I, you’ll likely want to see what the census records will tell you.
An excellent way to begin to tap census records is to use the well known site, FamilySearch.com. You can search databases for the 1880 United States, 1881 British Isles, or 1881 Canadian Census. Often these records can help you place a known relative within a family of this earlier time.
The FamilySearch site has more than census records, making it a potential treasure trove of information. When you do a search, you may get results such as Ancestral Files, International Genealogy Index or IGI results and more. Remember that all genealogy data should be checked against other sources, preferably original documents for births, marriages and deaths.
The site also provides access to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. You can also download for free the Personal Ancestral File or PAF , a genealogy and family history program.
You can register for free and gain access to even more information at the site. This makes FamilySearch.com an important tool both in the early phases of your research and again as you dig deeper and have more names to check.
This is one in a series of genealogy and family history research ideas to help you find your family and ancestors for modest or no cost.