How to navigate the 1950 Census

040316 ROSWELL, GA: Names and dates line the voluminous records at the Church of Latter Day Saints Family History Center, where people come to research their family's genealogy. Family History Center at 500 Norcross Street in Roswell. For Helen Cauley feature on Geneaology - Family Trees. (Parker C. Smith/Special)

Credit: Special

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040316 ROSWELL, GA: Names and dates line the voluminous records at the Church of Latter Day Saints Family History Center, where people come to research their family's genealogy. Family History Center at 500 Norcross Street in Roswell. For Helen Cauley feature on Geneaology - Family Trees. (Parker C. Smith/Special)

Credit: Special

The 1950 Census has been available for a few weeks and here are a few research tips I have learned.

There are plenty of guides and tutorials on every genealogy site, all you need to do is just search for “1950 Census” and they turn up.

If you don’t know the address of your people in 1950, which you need to know to use the Enumeration District guides, it’s best to wait for the full index. The indexes will be out in a few months, as several sites are working on them.

When you go to an Enumeration District, usually containing 25 to 40 census pages, you will find that the census taker went down one street, then another, so the streets aren’t in consecutive order. Don’t get discouraged if it takes you a while to read through it.

Longer streets were stretched over several districts and many houses were vacant. Some house numbers were marked “No one at Home, see Page 71″ and to find those, follow the page numbers within the same district until the end to find the higher page numbers and the people they missed on the first visit.

In my hometown, Columbus, Georgia, in the districts I went through, they often listed people’s middle names. In many cases some women’s maiden names were listed. As for my mother and my great-grandmother, I think that was probably because those women did not use their first names. Some counties with large cities had two census divisions, city and county, but if you have the district number, that will lead you to the right place.

Video: What you’ll find at the 1950 Census website

ExploreVisit the 1950 Census website from the National Archives

Learn more

Can you name your four grandparents? 1950 census may help

National Archives: Frequently asked questions and answers about 1950 census

Cobb genealogy group among those helping to further index 1950 census

History Hub

The National Archives has created “History Hub” where one can sign up for free and ask questions of the staff, or read research questions and answers already posed. To find it, go to historyhub.history.gov. This should help people learn about the vast amount of records held by the National Archives and how to use them. You can also ask questions about the 1950 Census there, as well.

DNA test discounts

There will be plenty of DNA test discounts in the next two months. All the companies offer discounts for Mother’s Day (May 8), and Father’s Day (June 19). So if you have put off getting a DNA kit, or need extras, now is your chance.

Contact Kenneth H. Thomas Jr., P. O. Box 901, Decatur, Ga. 30031 or www.kenthomasongenealogy.com.