Saturday, March 20, 2010

U.S. Census 2010

So, the 2010 census has been delivered for Americans to fill out and all I can think, when I look at it, is how, when it becomes public record in 72 years, it will be no help whatsoever to genealogists.

Yes, since the 2000 census, there have been changes - my 95-year-old grandmother is still alive, my mother is gone, and my brother has moved out. But besides asking for names, ages, race, and relation to the head of household, there is no information to be gleaned. Even for the government using this census, I can't imagine what they can learn from the questions they are asking. It's almost insulting. The 2010 census is about as basic as the 1850 or 1860 census. From 150 years ago. I think about how rich and informative the 1900 or the 1930 census are - occupations, where a person was born, where his parents were born, whether or not they are a veteran, just all these clues to lead you in directions to finding out information further back. Which I guess means that it's up to me and all my fellow genealogists and historians to keep track of as much information as we possibly can so that future generations don't have to rely on this census for their info.

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