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17 April 2013

Get Away From Those Search Boxes

Genealogists expect to type names in boxes and have the desired results appear, especially with census records. If you have a good idea where the ancestor lived and cannot find him in the index, read the census manually. For rural areas and small towns, it is not all that difficult and, if you have an address in urban areas it is possible there as well. This can be a great way to find people whose names are jumbled and, in the process, find nearby relatives for whom you never thought to look.

Don't become a search box addict!


  1. Well said!
    As I scroll through the pages of the 1930 and 1940 censuses of my home county, I feel as if I'm travelling down those country roads seeing the homes (now long gone) of folks who used to live there.

  2. I am new to genealogy and thought how simple it would be to do, "just click on the leaves" and its all done for you. I have spent as much time deleting people who were not related to me as I have in adding the ones that I have verified and sourced. I started ordering books and reading blogs AFTER I signed up for ancestry and bought FTM!! Now I look back and forward 10 to 15 pages. Before I never even opened them I just clicked boxes and was happy about it!! I wish that they would have MADE me do something like take a tour of the sight before you could get sign up. But they would probably lose money if they did.

    Yes I agree Always look at the Census records, You will be so happy that you did.

    Thanks for letting me rant,
    Lisa Morris

  3. OH, yes! As I read the 1940 census I saw so many names I recognized! It was great! And now that I've done so much research on my family, most of those names were related to me. Little did I know way back when.