Back to top

I’ve Lost My Census!

Published on Mon, 08/06/2018 - 12:39pm
word search

When I began my genealogy research over 30 years ago, I tried searching for Australian census records without success. I had lost my census, but I hadn’t lost my senses! Someone explained to me that Australia destroyed all national censuses after gathering the statistical information in order to protect individual privacy. Important records all over the world have been lost due to fires, floods, or wars. Some major record losses include most of the 1890 U.S. Federal Census, some military files at the National Personnel Records Center, and many Irish records stored at the Public Records Office in Dublin. County courthouses burned during the Civil War or at other times, leaving many researchers frustrated.

What do you do when those records are missing? Look for recreated records or substitute documents when doing genealogical research. The 1890 Census was not a total loss. The records of 6,160 individuals and the 1890 Veterans Schedule survived. The 1890 Census fragments and Veterans Schedule are available on Ancestry Library Edition (in-library use only) and HeritageQuest Online. Look for state censuses, tax records, city directories, maps, and voter registrations to fill in the gaps when records have been lost. With a little digging, you should be able to find something that will further your research.

Also, check out State Census Records by Ann S. Lainhart or Census Substitutes & State Census Records by William Dollarhide for additional tips and ideas.

How have census substitutes helped you find an ancestor?

Jolene C.
Midwest Genealogy Center

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.

Resources You May Also Like

Events You May Also Like

Family Heirlooms: Look Ahead, Look Behind

Tue, Jul 23 2019
6:30pm - 7:30pm
Registration Required
Family stories are heirlooms that take us around the world and put us in touch with our heritage. Discover your family stories, and learn how they influence your life today.

Irish Records Research: Waves of Migration

Wed, Jun 19 2019
6:30pm - 7:30pm
Registration Required
Learn to trace your Irish ancestors as emigrated from Ireland. Learn about pre-famine, famine, and post-famine periods in Ireland, church records, and civil registration records.

Introduction to Internet Genealogy

Wed, May 22 2019
6:30pm - 7:30pm
Registration Required
Discover the best genealogy websites for your research. This is a beginner-level class for adults. Basic computer literacy is needed to follow along.

Newspaper Databases at Mid-Continent Public Library

Fri, Jul 12 2019
2:00pm - 3:00pm
Registration Required
Newspaper databases can be used to find genealogical information such as birth, marriage and death records, obituaries, probate cases, and interesting information about your ancestors’ lives.

Blogs You May Also Like

headstone

The Last Word

Are you one of those people who always have to get the last word in?
Read More
Mayflower

Mayflower Descendants

Thanksgiving is a time for family and food, a time to gather and enjoy.
Read More
Recipe to Prep Turkey

Turkeys, Hams, and Pies, Oh My!

Just days before Thanksgiving, did your children text you and ask how to cook a frozen 25-po
Read More
Ladner grave

Veterans Salute

My great-grandfather, Charles Curnow Ladner, did not live to see Armistice Day in 1918.
Read More
Was this page helpful?
No
Would you like an email response?