02 January 2012

Counting People

To those of you that aren't into genealogy research, maybe you won't get why I'm excited about this, but I am very excited about 2 April 2012! While many people dread April because of taxes, I am looking forward to it because the 1940 US census records will be released. I can't wait! Neither of my parents will show up in this one; their first census was in 1950, but three of my uncles and my grandparents as new parents will be there. They asked new questions in this census that will give even more information (hopefully!) about the lives of my ancestors.

FamilySearch.org is looking for volunteers to help index the records so that they are searchable online. I want to do this, but am also afraid that I'll make a mistake that sends a future researcher into a tizzy (like happens to me all the time!). One wrong keystroke and maybe somebody doesn't find their grandpa in the census information. Though I know that I'm far from perfect, I am a perfectionist to the Monk degree sometimes and that often keeps me from doing things that ultimately I would really enjoy. I might just have to get over it and be super careful and just jump in to help index these records.

Thanks to those dedicated to making the online records searchable, I have been able to add quite a bit to my family tree over the last few weeks. Just today, I added two other branches to my paternal line. John and Kizzie Gunter are the parents of Big Papa, who was married to Big Mama, otherwise known as Annie (and the reason for the name of this blog). I found Kizzie's death certificate and this gave me the names of her parents, too. I haven't discovered any photographs of them yet, but if they are out there, I will find them. It leaves a fun discovery for another day, something else to look forward to.

Knowing how great these discoveries make me feel, how can I not do something that could help others as much as I've been helped in this way?

What are you not doing because you are afraid that you'll mess up or look foolish? Please share in the comment section.


  1. I didn't know it was coming out! So cool! I will be able to update much of my research. Thanks for the info!

  2. @Tami

    You're very welcome, Tami. :)

    Each Census report is released at some point after 70 years have passed.

    One thing that hit me over the weekend is that it is very unlikely I'll be alive when the 1990 census is released around 2060. I will be 95 years old! That is the first one that shows me as a married woman and our first child would be on there, too.

    They are really good for finding extended family that you didn't know that you had, too, especially in the older reports as extended families often lived in the same community. I'm glad that they are made available to us and glad that we can get this information without having to pay for it. Some sites charge for this access, and while those sites are great, free is good. :)

    Thank you so much for commenting. Have a wonderful evening!


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