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21 April 2014

Search for the Neighbors

Years ago, I had a terrible finding an ancestor in the 1830 US census. After nearly giving up, I decided to locate his 1840 neighbors in 1830 and search on that same page for the missing ancestor. I started with the name before his, then searched for the name after his, then I searched for the name before the name before his, and the name after the name after his, and so on. Ten names later, I had found my ancestor in 1830 by using his 1840 neighbors.

His name was written so sloppily that I never would have found it in the index.


  1. I have done this successfully many times. With an unusual name, transcribers rarely know what they're looking at; and who could blame them?

  2. What a great idea! I've got a few people I'd like to try this out on.

  3. This tip will really help me a lot. I can't believe all the ways the name Vining can be mispelled. Vyning, Venning, etc.