2nd Sunday in January
2nd Sunday in April
1950 U. S. Federal Census
Friday, April 1, 2022, the 1950 U. S. Federal Census was released to the public, 72 years after it was taken,
as allowed by law.
The National Archives (NARA) released scans of all the images Friday, as well as a computer generated index based on
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) of the cursive handwriting - a technology I didn't even know existed! The results
are very impressive, however, there are many many errors, as you can imagine.
As soon as they were made public, Ancestry and Family Search were ready to take the scans and do further work on them. They
have teamed together and their project is under way to index the entire census, 150 million people - a MAJOR undertaking.
As I understand it, Ancestry is processing the entire set of census pages using their OCR technology, state by state.
As the states are OCR'd, volunteers, in a huge "crowdsourcing" effort based out of familysearch.org, are reviewing the
machine generated names and editing them. As that review progresses, a very good name index will start being available at
Ancestry and Family Search. Later stages of the project will review the family relationships shown in the census and
ultimately the entire contents will be transcribed. Current status is that Nevada, Oregon, Idaho,
Arizona, and Utah have finished Name Review and are preparing for Family Review. Name Review has begun for New
Mexico and Florida.
Below are some links and hints that might help you get started looking at the census. Both Ancestry and Family Search require
logins to be created for most work. Anyone can get a Family Search login and help with the Name Review and follow-on work! I believe
all access to the census will be free. The following
links are ones I have found helpful:
National Archives site:
NARA site - machine generated name index.
Ancestry site to browse images.
Ancestry ED map
The territory covered by the census was divided into Enumeration Districts (EDs) to make organization easier. Without an
index you have to look into the State, Community, then ED and start browsing through census pages to find your individual.
To help find the ED of the area you are interested in, several sites have published and animated the original maps.
Ancestry's is very good.
Steve Morse ED website:
Steve Morse Enumeration District website
Steve Morse has had helpful websites for genealogy researchers for many many years.