Washington Census Tips
Census Tips[edit | edit source]
Find your ancestor in every census taken while he/she was alive.
- 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.
- Follow the children through censuses.
- Neighbors may be relatives or old friends from their home state.
Check marriages for women in the county where your ancestor was found in a census. Then find those women and their husbands the SAME census.
- 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?
Pay close attention to the ages and birthplaces.
- 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?
Check a map to see county boundaries for the census year you want to search.
- For example:
Census Index Tips[edit | edit source]
Check another index if you did not find your family.}}
- 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
Check county census indexes when online indexes fail.
How Censuses Can Help You Find[edit | edit source]
Names of Parents[edit | edit source]
Maiden Name of Mother[edit | edit source]
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?[edit | edit source]
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[edit | edit source]
Marriage: When and Where[edit | edit source]
Immigration and Naturalization[edit | edit source]
Some federal censuses give the year of immigration.