Today, April 1 2022, is the release day for the 1950 U.S. Census. Images of the enumeration pages were released by the U.S. Census Bureau in the early morning hours. I wasn’t one of the super enthusiasts who probably stayed up to access the census when it went live, but I did access it by 11 am. I glad I did.
I found it to be user friendly. It was simple to use with fairly unique names and for known places. And using it is completely free. To use it go here.
In brief, this is what makes it work: There is a name and place index that was generated by some sort of advanced optical character recognition software developed to “read” handwriting whether printing or cursive. From my short experience today, I am impressed with its accuracy.
I was able to find myself and my family by entering the search terms, Ohio and Ashtabula County, and the name Huskonen, Walfrid (my father’s name). The indexing took me to the proper enumeration page for South Main Street in Andover where I found Dad, Mom, my sister Viena, my brother Walfrid, and me. I did have to scroll down the page a bit to find us. Our southern property line was at the southern border of Andover Village, so to see our neighbors in Andover Township, I had to go to another Enumeration District to search for families I remembered by name or for pages to scroll through.
For other relatives in Ashtabula County, I went to the Enumeration District for Williamsfield Township, the next towhship south of Andover Township. By searching or scrolling, I was able to find my uncle Hugh Huskonen and his family living on a farm in the western part of the township. In the eastern part of the township, I found my uncle Wallace Dingman and his family.
I did find a bit of new information from my family’s listing: my father earned just over $5000 in the previous 12 months. I knew that he was working as a patternmaker for a brass foundry, and that was confirmed by the enumeration. This tidbit of extra information was provided because when he was enumerated, he was recorded on Line 13, which was designated as a Sample Line. Extra questions were asked by the enumerators for people who fell on the sample lines.
This was the second census that I found myself in, the first being the 1940 Census, when my father, mother, and I lived with my grandmother, Grace Tripp, on West Main St. in Andover.
I plan to do considerable additional research in the 1950 Census in the days ahead.
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