How census records can help your family research - MyGeneTree

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How census records can help your family research

Census records are invaluable and can be the building blocks when researching your ancestors.

You should always search all of your distant relatives in every census; doing this will give you much more insight into your ancestors' lives…

Census records help connect your family groups, find previously unknown relatives, and provide you with information you may not have found anywhere else. These valuable records can also pinpoint ancestors' locations at particular points in time.


The questions asked in census records vary between different countries and years.

In most census records, you can find helpful information such as:

  • Names
  • Household Members
  • Relationships
  • Birth Years 
  • Marital Status
  • Birthplaces 


Sometimes you may also find additional details such as:

  • Address
  • Immigration
  • Occupation
  • Homeownership
  • Military Service


To uncover further information, here are some helpful questions to ask yourself while reading through census records:

Did your ancestors stay in one neighbourhood, or did they move around?

Before marriage, did both your ancestors live in the same neighbourhood?

Who were your ancestors' neighbours?

Did any of these neighbours have similar naming patterns or occupations to your ancestor?

Have you seen the neighbours names before? Perhaps they were a document witness for your ancestor?

Who else lived with your ancestors? Did other family members live with them, e.g. siblings or older parents?


To help you record your documents, including your census records for each ancestor, I have put together this FREE ancestor profile scribble sheet.

Happy searching!