Washington Census Tips

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United States Census Gotoarrow-kelly.png Washington Census Gotoarrow-kelly.png Tips

Census Tips

  • Relatives, such as grandchildren or married children, may live with them.
  • They may live with a child, such as a married daughter, in their later years.
  • Neighbors may be relatives or old friends from their home state.
  • You may find sisters living in the area.
  • Your ancestor's widowed mother may have remarried. Were the women old enough to be sisters? Aunts? The mother?
  • Did any of those husbands witness your ancestor's deeds and other records? Were they near neighbors?
  • Gaps in ages of children may be a clue to:
    • A second marriage of the couple: Check marriage records for this.
    • A child died young. Check cemetery, church, funeral, and other records.
  • The state or nation where the children were born is a clue to:
    • When the family migrated
  • Ages of husband and wife may be clues:
    • In a second marriage, the husband may be older than the wife.
  • Compare ages of the wife and the children:
    • The oldest child: was the wife too young to be the mother? (Child-bearing years for most women were between 16–40.)
    • The youngest child: was the wife too old?
For example:

Follow the children through censuses, as well.

Census Index Tips

  • Indexers vary in skill and accuracy
  • The quality of the image or copy they used affects the quality of the index
  • Some indexers are local and more familiar with the names or families of the area than others
  • Created by local societies or groups who knew the families of the area, these indexes are often more accurate
  • Footnotes or information about the family may be added
Where to find county census indexes:

How Censuses Can Help You Find

Names of Parents

Maiden Name of Mother

A child's middle name is sometimes the maiden name of the mother

Obituaries sometimes list maiden name of wife/mother

On this Wiki - Maiden Names in the United States

How do I know this is MY person?

Family members - the more you know the more you will recognize Occupation

Other people your ancestor knew How is this going to be explained?

Migration from another state

Marriage: When and Where

Immigration and Naturalization

Some federal censuses give the year of immigration.