1950 U.S. Census Records Released: Information Is “Genealogy Heaven”
For Wendy Kalman, an amateur genealogist in Atlanta, the 1950 records will help her consolidate details about her parents, grandparents and loved ones. She has traced the paternal side of the family back to 18th century Ukraine, and her research has brought her into contact with previously unknown third and fourth cousins in the United States with whom she speaks regularly.
“It’s an interesting journey to find out where you’re from and census records help you find information that isn’t always available,” said Kalman, 55. “Family histories aren’t always passed on, and census records give you a snapshot on time. It helps set up a picture.
Ronnie Willis’ parents on both sides of his grandparents’ families were traveling farmers who traveled through Texas and Oklahoma as a mixed group throughout the 1930s and 1940s. But they broke into nuclear family units after World War II. Willis hopes the 1950 census records will help him piece together what happened to those relatives who moved to other states.
“It will help me get 10 years closer to putting the puzzle together, a little bit,” said Willis, 53, a software company executive who lives in Greenville, South Carolina.
Documents published by the National Archives and Records Administration will be indexed on a searchable website. Scanned and handwritten forms contain information on names, race, gender, age, address, occupations, hours worked in the previous week, wages, education levels, marital status and the country in which their parents were born. The website will include a tool for users to correct incorrect names or add missing names.