1901 Ireland Census Available Online

Hat tip to MyHeritage Blog for the pointer to the 1901 Irish census, now available online. It’s freely available at http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/. That link actually has search forms for both the 1911 Irish census (about which I have written before) and the 1901 census.

You can search the census by first and last name, county, street, and DED (District Electoral Division). You can also specify an age and gender. (If you have a good knowledge of Ireland and are feeling some mad census skillz, you can also try browsing by place..)

I did a search for Shea and got over 8900 results. The result listings only include name, townland/street, DED, county, age, and sex, but clicking on a name will bring you more detailed page. Click on that “Show All Information” link in the upper right corner and your results will include religion, birthplace, occupation, literacy level, Irish language status, and marital status. And it’s already transcribed, so you need do no squinting. If you want to squint, original census images are available at the bottom of the result details page.

Kudos to Ireland for getting this done; it was clearly a lot of time and effort!

Free Footnote.com Census Access!

Footnote.com, my favorite genealogy Web site that periodically gives terrific levels of free access, has announced that it’s making access to its US census documents available for “a limited time.”

First: what’s “a limited time”? Don’t know. And what’s “the Census”? You can get to the census documents at http://go.footnote.com/census/?iid=642 but don’t expect to see everything here. At the moment the most complete censuses are the 1860 census (100%) and the 1930 census (98%), with partial availability from the 1900, 1910, and 1920 censuses (none of these three censuses are over 5% complete.)

Now, what is available is kind of interesting; Footnote believes in crowdsourcing of genealogy documents. Once you’ve found someone in the census and you’re looking at their listing (note you have to have a Footnote.com account to view census images, but they’re free) you can add things. You can add photos, stories, comments, or related documents. You can also post a particular person to Facebook, bookmark them, or “like” them.

Most of my experience exploring the US Census has been via Ancestry, and it does seem that Ancestry has more data. But I kind of like the way Footnote.com lets you explore the census. In comparing it to Ancestry.com’s census explorer, it presents a more manageable set of results in a way that seems to me easier to review. Most of my ancestors were kind enough to have names that are spelled about eight different ways, and Ancestry.com gets really enthused about the possibilities. Footnote.com is more restrained, and the way the search form is set up it’s very easy to swap out different spellings and narrow down search results.

If recent TV shows about genealogy have gotten interested in your ancestors, this free collection from Footnote is a good way to dip your toe in the water. If after this you want more, though, check out one of the many sites on the Web that point the way to genealogy data. Cyndi’s List, at http://www.cyndislist.com/, is one of my favorites.

Map Shows Census Compliance

I read several government blogs and aside from this head cold have spent very little time recently under a rock. Therefore I know that the 2010 census forms will be mailed this month. Despite all the TV commercials and the Web hype, the US government wants to make AB-SO-LUTE-LY sure; I got a letter today letting me know that soon the census forms would be mailed.

Maybe this constant stream of reminders is making you wonder about the 2000 census. How many people sent in the census last time? According to a Census.gov press release, the census completion compliance in 2000 was 72%. But that tells you only the compliance for the whole country. To see how your community did, you’ll have to check out the new map available at http://2010.census.gov/2010census/take10map/.

The map defaults to the entire US and uses shading to show the percentage of compliance across all the states. But enter a city name or a zip code, and you can zoom all the way down to “local” level to see how people responded to the census on a neighborhood level.

I started with my old standby 90210 and ended up zoomed down around West Hollywood. The shadings at this level show how different compliance percentages can be even on a block-by-block basis.

The data showing now is for the 2000 census, but the Census Bureau has announced that once the census forms are mailed, there will be daily updates showing compliance for the 2010 census.

This is an interesting tool though sometimes the map data loads a little slowly, especially at the neighborhood level. It also begs the question of how this technology could be used elsewhere. I mean, it’s great to see graphs of how the citizenry is participating in the democratic process. How about the same mapping technology for individual states, to show how many votes representatives were present for, how many constituent communications were responded to, etc.?

Detailed 1911 Irish Census Now Online

The Irish Times has reported that a detailed 1911 census is now available. Access for it is free at http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/.

The front page has general information on the census and on life in Ireland in 1911, but the search form is one link down. You can search the census by a variety of factors, including first and last name, street, and approximate age in 1911 (plus or minus five years.)

I did a search for John Field (I’m kind of on a John Field kick at the moment) and got 38 results. Results are presented in a table that includes name, county, age, and sex. Click on the surname or first name and you’ll get a list of all the people in that household along with their ages and gender. Beneath that you’ll get a list of the other forms associated with this household (for instance, household return, outbuilding return, etc.)

The unusual thing about this census, though, is there’s no built-in viewer for these additional documents. They’re PDF, so you’ll have to use your browser’s PDF viewer or download the files. I downloaded a household file just to see what was in it. If you’ve ever done genealogy research before it’ll look very familiar as a census file. Information include the names of folks in the household, their relationship to the head of the household, and so on. Other information, less usual to a census form in my experience, includes the religion of the people in the household, whether they can read or write, and their licensed professions.

Footnote Makes 1930 US Census Free Through End of August

Footnote.com announced yesterday that its 1930 US Census is going to be available free online through the end of August. The direct URL for the resource is http://go.footnote.com/1930census/.

You will have to register to have free access, but all the registration asks for is an e-mail address and a password.

There are over 123 million names included in this census. The front page lets you do just a first name/ last name search. Once you’ve run that search you can narrow it down further by searching for any number of additional factors like place, year, age, county, etc. Search results have the name from your search results and place of household, with more pointers to other family members. Click on a name to be taken to an image of the census. Footnote lets you go through the census line-by-line, pulling out key facts about each people listed. (Though strangely not everything. A popup window tells you the estimated date of birth for a person, but not their listed occupation.)

Tom Mix in the 1930 Census

You can save images to your hard drive, or print them out, but what’s interesting are the social media aspects of Footnote’s census. You can add images for a person, or a comment or a story, or you can even create a page for that person on Footnote.com. (Here’s the page I created for early cowboy movie star Tom Mix.) On this page you get a timeline for the person that’s also populated with world events, add comments/pictures/stories/links, or create a memorial page on Facebook.

Of course, information about any random person in a census is only going to be as good as its provider. But if you have a baseline of information about them — enough to be able to evaluate submitted information — what a great way to make contact with distant cousins and gather a little more stuff for your family tree. And of course, for the month of August the census is free.