14 August 2006
I have been writing lately about studying your family in the census records. This form should be part of your many forms to help you.
With this form you want to write down each known family member. Then I also like to place a line in front of the census year where I know they will first be found.
As you look for your family members you will want to work backward in the census. I knew John McCombs died in 1921. Therefore I want to first look in 1920 for him and hopefully his family. Then I will work backwards from there. As I find the family I will write in the square usually just the county and state where I found them, because I will have the city and other details on my transcription of that census year. I will also fill in the square for his wife and any of the children that are with them in that census. If you will notice there is only one year where I find the oldest children with them. After that I loose track of Martha, Thomas, Mary and Edward. Part of the reason for that is 1890 census does not exist. It was lost in a fire, so between 1880 where I found the family in Benton, AR and 1900 where I find them in Blaine, OK the kids have married and moved on with their own lives. I didn't find them living near their parents like some of the younger siblings, so I will need to start a separate search for each of them.
My next step is to complete this family by finding all of the descendant of John and Luticia McCombs, not just my direct ancestor. So this census checklist will tell me what years I am missing for what children. Then when that is complete, as best I can, I will then go back and study John's parents as well as Luticia's. Since I do know who they are it won't be to difficult to study them. But I also want to study all of their descendants as well. You want to do this step with each generation and with each family group.
The title is a link to Family Tree Magazine website. Where they will have not only the census checklist, but many more useful forms you will need.