The anticipation was painfully sweet. Finally on Friday, 1 April, family history enthusiasts and genealogists celebrated the release of another decennial US census. Will the 1950 census finally solve a family mystery? Will it connect me with the family members who moved west looking for a new start? Could it help find that relative impossible to trace after WWII? Or locate information about an elusive DNA cousin match? Perhaps this census will make it possible for an adoptee to finally connect with a birth parent or siblings?
The 1950 census is no ordinary record set. It roots 151 million people living in the United States and its territories in physical places, giving us visual snapshots in time where we can find them. History is waiting for us to discover them. And we have no time to waste.
Although major organizations like NARA, Ancestry, FamilySearch, and MyHeritage have done their best to make images of these records freely available to us, their efforts alone are not enough to uncover each individual enumerated and give us the best index as quickly as we want it. All of us with the passion for family history already know from experience that any number of factors can foil the opportunity to find our family in census records. Recording and indexing errors are difficult to control or catch without human intervention. Who better than the millions of family history enthusiasts and genealogists to hold an intervention?
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