Thursday, January 24, 2008

Free 1900 US Census Index and Images

The Legacy News blog mentioned that the 1900 US Census is available (except for Hawaii and Alaska) at the FamilySearch Labs Record Search web site. Read his post "How good are the Family Search Indexing Indexes?" about his successful search on the site.

You have to be a registered user of this site (it is easy). Once you are signed on, you can search all of the indexed collections or select one of the collections from the list of databases.

I clicked on the 1900 United States Census and put a name in the search box - I used Leroy Thompson, born 1880 in Tennessee (because I can't find him in the 1900 census and wondered if Ancestry and HQO missed him).

The search results came back with 3,900 partial matches, all 3-stars or less (no 4 or 5 stars). It didn't find any Leroy Thompson born in 1880 in Tennessee. I clicked on one of the other 3-star Leroys near the top of the list, and the link took me to a summary page for that person.

I clicked on "View Original Image" and the census page image took a very long time to come up (like three minutes) - I'm wondering if this happens on every image, or just the first one?

There is an image zoom tool in the upper right hand corner, and a thumbnail image in the lower right hand corner that shows the visible portion of the whole page. You can move around on the image by dragging your mouse over the image.

You can navigate to the Next, Previous or any other numbered page in the enumeration district. You can navigate to the Previous or Next match on the list. I saved an image, and it saved as a JPG file (3720 x 3768, 1.240 mb). You can print the image, and you get the full page as a portrait print. Both the Save and Print operations took a long time (like 60 seconds) to work.

This is great news for online researchers. The 1900 US Census is online for FREE, but you'll have to be patient with the system until the bugs are worked out. It will be interesting to see how their servers will react when more people start using this database.

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