Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Pause For A Commercial Break

Okay so I didn't want to do any post that seemed political or on a different subject here but I am thinking that this one relates so I will go ahead and add it.

Coming home today I stopped at our mailbox and low and behold our 2010 census was here. I did a little happy dance in my car and then proceeded inside. Why was I happy? Allow me to explain and this will also show how the topic is related to genealogy.

We fill out the 2010 census the same as they did in 2000, 1990, 1980, so forth and so on. Now I know that there has been much talk about the cost of this census being that we are in a recession and the government needs to trim whereever possible (this is the political) but lets imagine that during the great depression they felt the same way. When you start to trace back through census records, because that really is the best and only way other than word of mouth and that isn't always accurate, then you might have a relative that is listed in 1940 but not in 1920. Granted the 1940 census hasn't been released yet but if your mother told you that your grandmother was born in 1934 and seeing that she has passed away and your mother never knew her grandparents then you my friend or at a dead end unless you can find someone that could give you a name or a court record with her parents names listed. This might seem easy if you live in Kansas and your grandparents were born and raised in Kansas also but what if they were born in Ohio or Virginia or Tennessee. See where you would run into problems.

The census is not only good to track population increases and where federal money would be best spent but to track families and relatives and those that we might not find otherwise. Being African-American I can tell you that my search would be alot easier if African-Americans had been just that. Instead I have blacks, coloreds, negros, and in the case of where I am now not even a name. If they had been counted as people instead of proporty then I might know who my great, great, great, great grandfather was right now but that is a different blog.

My point is that although it might seem like time taken away from your busy life and possibly a complete waste of time; it isn't. Decades from now if no one follows your footsteps and doesn't continue keeping track of your genealogy then your decendents will be glad you took those few minutes out of your day and filled it out.

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