The important thing to recognize is that there are many enumerations that are not Federal census records and your ancestors could be hiding in them. I’ve written previously in this blog about the NY state census records and many states, counties, and cities conducted their own censuses. Earlier in US history, when a territory wanted to become a state, there was also a census to prove that there was sufficient populations to warrant statehood.
Pennsylvania conducted a Septennial census every seven years for tax purposes and that index just became available on Ancestry.com for the years 1779-1863.
For those of you not familiar with using a card catalog search; here are the steps for searching the card catalog at FamilySearch.org.
Open the FamilySearch.org website.
In the search box, click “Titles”
In the “For” box type “census”
The process is similar for Ancestry.com
Open the Ancestry.com website.
Click “Card Catalog”
Type “census” in the “Title” box
If you put the word “census” in the keyword box and not in the title box, you will get even more results.
It’s a good idea to browse through the titles just to see what types of census records exist on these two premier websites. There are many sites that have census records. Don’t just limit yourself to these two sites.
More next week on which sites indexed what records for the Federal censuses.