Saturday, June 2, 2012

State Census Records : Featured library resource for June 2012

Published in 1992 by Genealogical Publishing Company, this book by Ann S. Lainhart grew out of her preparation for a presentation on State Census Records.  In the introduction she cites five reasons why state census records are important not to overlook, and gives examples:

  • they may fill in gaps left by missing federal census records, such as 1890
  • they may be made available sooner than the 72-year waiting period for federal census records
  • many ask different questions from the federal censuses
  • they may help fill out the picture (for example, some enumerators gave a lot of extra detail)
  • middle names are often supplied
The book consists of chapters on each state, listing the availability of state census records, information that Lainhart found was often inaccurate in other sources.  For Massachusetts. she tells us that a state census was taken every ten years 1955-1945, but unfortunately the original data survive only for 1855 and 1865.  Both the original and microfilm versions are available at the Massachusetts Archives at Columbia Point.

As many members know, the CCGS library volunteers are conducting an inventory of the collection, and noting publication dates for the catalog.  Although more than one book has turned up missing, this volume is one that was on the shelf and not in the catalog, which makes it all worthwhile!

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