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19 July 2009

Census should be a bridge to something else

For every census listing you have for an ancestor, think of other sources and materials that it suggests. A value of real property in an 1860 census indicates land and property tax records, a personal property valuation in an 1850 census suggests personal property tax records. An occupation may suggest local county records or occupational records. And children with different last names in the household suggest multiple marriages or extended family who may have been living in the household at least temporarily.

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