Preparing for the 1950 Census Release: 1 April 2022

The blog of the National Archivist of the United States contained a post about the 1 April 2022 release of the 1950 United States population census schedules. Their post talked about their preparation for the release of the digital images. Questions about the rollout should be directed to the National Archives, not to me.

For the genealogist wanting to prepare for the release, think about which of your relatives would be alive in 1950. Think about where they would be living in 1950. For individuals living in rural areas of the United States, the township, election district, town, or village name may be sufficient–depending upon how populated those areas are. In many rural areas of the United States, specific street addresses may be difficult if not impossible to get (my relatives simply have rural route address (RFD 1, RFD 2, etc. ) and may not cut down on manual search time if the population is small.

For those with urban ancestors, addresses will be helpful if indexes are not available or do not locate the person of interest. City or telephone directories in the 1948-1952 time frame may prove helpful for those who moved around quite a bit. Other records that provide addresses, such as death certificates, newspaper death notices, etc. may be helpful as well. For those who want to be really organized with their 1950 search, creating a spreadsheet of each living person of interest in 1950 may be helpful. That spreadsheet could at least include:

  • Name as of 1950
  • Address (for city dwellers) or township, etc. (for rural residents)
  • Approximate age in 1950
  • Place of birth
  • Head of household they probably are listed in

The countdown to 1950 is on!