• Census
  • Nov15


    While watching today’s Ancestry.com webinar and seeing Crista Cowan‘s census table, I noodled around on the Google and created a quick version for download. Just enter names, birth and death years and it will calculate the persons age during each census from 1850 to 1940.

    Act now and it will also gray out cells for censuses in which the person was not around!

    Below is a static version – apparently you can embed Google spreadsheets, but they aren’t editable. Visit this link to use a live version of it.


    December 16, 2014: I tried the cell protection in Google Sheets again after having trouble getting it working in previous years. Looks like it does work now – with lots of opening and closing of the sheet after making every sharing change, named range creation, and range protection change. I also had to sacrifice a chicken. So, only the GREEN cells are now editable in the sheet.

    I found someone had mistakenly overwritten the formula in at least one cell with a number, which I’ve fixed. This new cell protection should avoid that problem in the future.

    November 15, 2016: I’ve added columns to show ages up to the present day even if you start at 1790. I have also added a “Census Year Increment” field. Normally this would remain as a 10, and all the years in the column headers would increment by that amount. But, say you wanted to also have the ages handy for years ending in “5” to help you look for peoples in the NY State censuses: Now you can just change the Increment field to a 5 and Voila! Mathematics is your friend!

    One thing to note: Google Sheets seems to show protected cells by default with a cross-hatch background that makes it hard to read the cell info. You can click on the View menu at the top of the sheet, then de-select the Protected Cells option to get rid of that cross-hatch. (The non-green cells will still be protected, of course.)

    (Don’t worry, I’ve got copies in case the sheet gets borked. And hey you – YES YOU, we all know you don’t have any Walter Melons in you tree so no funny names, Mister Smartypants.)

    You can also download a copy to use in your own Excel or Open Office software by clicking File… Download As… and saving it to your computer.

    Makes a great stocking stuffer!

  • Aug18

    No Comments

    My wife’s great-grandparent’s Petrillo families were used and abused in their 1910 census transcription found on Ancestry. Below is the original image alongside the info in the Ancestry database. Red highlighted ones are incorrectly transcribed.

    Even more odd than such bad gender-bending transcription is the fact that Mary & Katie are both listed as being 7 years old in the database (really 5 & 4 in the image), yet Ancestry has their estimated birth years listed correctly.

    I can see how the reverse “F” for “Female” might throw a transcriber off as a possible “7”, but then how did the birth year get correctly calculated?

    Bad, Bad Enumeration Example from 1910 Census

    Click on image for full size version.

  • May20


    I’ll start by saying I don’t mean my example is excellent – but the varied information in this particular record is…

    While seeking my wife’s great-grandfather Michael A. Duffy’s family in the 1900 census, I went through several possibilities until I found one that appears to be a pretty good match. It helps that his father had the first name of Anthony which doesn’t appear to be too common. For Duffys in New York anyway.

    One thing that is off is Michael’s birth year – but since some of the years listed in my Tierney family’s 1900 record are way off from documented dates, that’s not bothering me too much.

    So, I’ll be following these folks around awhile and see where they lead me. But, even if it doesn’t work out between us I will still be glad that I found this record – it is an excellent teaching example! Take a look below… Read More | Comments