If you are reading this post then you are probably wondering what census records that you can check. The 1940 census records are already out there but are the census records from 1950 available?
It’s an important question to ask as family historians we try to gather as much information about our ancestors as we possibly can. With more recent records there is more and more vital information within them. So read on and I will show you what is and what isn’t available when it comes to the 1950 census records.
Census records are important for genealogy research!
If you have been tracing your family history for a while then you may want to skip this section. However, if you are new to genealogy research then please read on.
I just want to share with you just why you should be using census records to discover your family history.
For me these records have helped me a great deal by filling in the blanks when it came to the vital information regarding my ancestors. Yes, you probably think that it is obvious, these records will have the basic facts about your ancestors.
They can tell you where they were born, where they lived, their occupation, who their family were, and so on.
So they can give you a ton of information about your ancestors. Census records can give you a snapshot of their lives.
But they can also help you to back-track through the generations. For example, if you know who your 2nd great-grandfather was then check these records to see when he was a child.
By doing so you will discover who his parents were. You can continue this process until you have exhausted these records. And then you will need to research other types of documents, such as parish records.
Topics covered in this post:
- Are The Census Records From 1950 Available?
- How Can I Access The Census Records From 1950?
- My Final Thoughts
Are The Census Records From 1950 Available?
The short answer is …
The long answer is …
There is more to it than that, so in a way the answer is actually yes!
If you are familiar with U.S. census records you may know that there is a 72-year rule, where you have to wait that long until these records are made public.
The latest 1940 census records are available and were made available in April 2012. So by following the rule we know that to gain access to the 1950 census records that we will unfortunately have to wait until April 2022.
You may think that that sucks but as Americans we have it much better than our British or Canadian counterparts. If you want to check out the latest British census records then there is a 100-year rule. So the latest census records for them dates to 1911. And to top it off there are no census records for 1931 and 1941 for them.
The Canadians fair a bit better as there is ‘only’ a 92-year rule. So the latest Canada census record that is available dates to 1921.
How Can I Access the Census Records From the 1950?
Apologies but I digressed slightly there from the question. To answer your question though the answer is indeed yes. So how can you access these records? What do you have to do?
The Census Bureau and the Age Search Service
Through the Census Bureau Age Search Service you can request the census records from 1910 right up to 2010. So that means that not only can you get your hands on records from 1950 but even the last census that was carried out.
So what’s the catch?
I knew you would ask that. Well there is currently a $65 charge for this service, and you can only request to search for one census for one person for each search. I must point out also that personal checks and money orders are accepted, except for credit cards unfortunately.
So it’s not a cheap service but it can help you if you have encountered a brick wall in your genealogy research!
By using this service though you will get an official transcript of the results that you requested. And then from these results you not only can break down brick walls but you may search for other records, such as birth, death or marriage certificates.
How do you access these records then?
You will need to download an application form from the Census Bureau Age Search Service. The form is titled “BC-600 Application For Search of Census Records“.
If the person that you are looking for is deceased then you will need to get an appropriate signature. This is no problem if you are in fact a relative. But if you are not then you can get the signature from any one of the following:
- Their partner;
- Administrator or executor of the estate; or
- A beneficiary by will or insurance.
You will also need to provide a copy of their death certificate as well!
So the process may not seem so simple but if you really want to find out something that is bugging you about your family tree then this is definitely one service that you can use.
What results do you get?
For the $65 that you pay you will get an official census transcript. This transcript will list the person’s name, relationship to the head of the household, their age when the census was taken and also the state where they were born. The person’s citizenship will be provided as well if they were born overseas.
Note: A person’s state of birth and their citizenship is not available from the 1910 and 1950 census records!
But to get the full schedule, i.e. the complete line of entry as it appears in the census, then you will need to pay an additional $10. This service is not available for census years 1970, 1980, 1990 and 2000.
And if you want details about other persons in the household then there is an extra $10 to pay.
How long does this service take?
The whole process takes between 3 to 4 weeks. If you do wish to speed up the process you can pay a further $20.
My Final Thoughts
Census records are a great resource to the genealogists. They can not only provide a lot of information but they can help you immensely to build your family tree. You can also use what you find to search for other records.
But if you want to access more recent information than what appears in the 1940 census records then it doesn’t come cheap. If you want to get just one line of entry from the census records for one person then you will need to cough up as much as $105.
But the process is actually a lot easier for the 1950 census records than records from 1960 to 2010!
Check out the 1950 Census Substitute from Ancestry, where you can access city directories from the 1940s to the 1950s.
These directories will help you locate where your ancestors were living during this time period. It’s not much but it can give you some more information about them.
Whatever you do decide when it comes to researching your family tree just remember that sometimes genealogy research is not easy. We do sometimes have to go through a number of hoops to get the information that we are looking for. And we occasionally have to pay for that information.
But at the end of the day we want to do our family history research justice. So we do have to go that a extra mile to create a legacy that we can be proud of.
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