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16 April 2013

Census: Research family relationships, part 2


1930 U.S. Census. Illinois, Will, Lockport. ED 99-65. Sheet 20A. William Schuler.  National Archives. Washington, D. C. Ancestry.com. Accessed 15 April 2013
Is it possible to build a family from digital census records? Sometimes digital images are the only clue to family members. This series of articles demonstrates how to use the clues to trace ancestors. Mildred Kampe and her ancestors will be traced back to 1850 using the techniques listed in Genealogy: How to research family relationships from census records, part 1.

Research technique: work backwards. In the 1940 U.S. population schedule census, Mildred, age 20, is enumerated as the daughter-in-law to William Kampe. According to the census, her residence in 1935 was Lockport, Illinois.
Without the marriage license, the researcher would search the 1930 U.S. population schedule census on Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org using the following qualifiers:
  • First name only, Mildred
  • Gender, female
  • Race or nationality, white
  • Birth location, Illinois
  • Birth date, about 1920 plus or minus two years
  • Lived in, Lockport, Will, Illinois
The index search results on both websites reveal nine matches. The surnames are Acond, Gregorich, Krickovich, Lee, Ludwig, Ording, Riggs, Schuler, and Skalac. Comparing censuses, ages may very about three years.

Research technique: connect to the right family. With the nine matches, each surname would need to be researched and eliminated.

Research technique: use collaborating documentation. This researcher has the marriage license for Henry J. Kampe and Mildred L. Schuler. Schuler is Mildred’s maiden name.
In 1930, the enumerator recorded data regarding the relationship of each person in the family unit to the head of the family, the married couple’s age of first marriage, and their place of abode.

Research technique: abstract the information thoroughly and correctly. The census citation would read as follows: 1930 U.S. Census, Will County, Illinois, population schedule, Lockport City, Lockport Township, enumeration district (ED) 99-65, sheet 20A, household 490, William Schuler; digital images, Ancestry.com (complete URL; downloaded 5 April 2012); National Archives, Washington, D.C
With the 1930 clues, the family was easily located in the 1920 U.S. population schedule census. The Schuler family was smaller; they lived on the same block in Lockport, Illinois. The census citation would read as follows: 1920 U.S. Census, Will County, Illinois, population schedule, Lockport City, Lockport Township, enumeration district (ED) 193, sheet 3A, household 63, William Schuler; digital images, Ancestry.com (complete URL; downloaded 5 April 2012); National Archives, Washington, D.C
Example, the first generation of the Schuler family is William and Nettie Schuler, the author’s maternal grandparents. The 1930 and 1920 U.S. population census enumerated the family as follows:
  • William Schuler is the head of the family, married at age 37.
  • Nettie is his wife, married at age 26.
  • Eleanor is his daughter.
  • Lloyd is his son.
  • Mildred, author’s mother, is his daughter.
  • Dorothy is his daughter.
Additional abstracted information:
  • Family members’ occupations
  • Family members’ birth place
  • Family residence
Further research, beyond census records:
  • Marriage license
  • Birth certificates
  • City directories
Census records offer hints or clues not absolute facts.
For comments and questions, please contact Selma Blackmon, thank you.

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