News Release

FamilySearch to Participate in 1950 US Census Community Project 

Online volunteers to make historic records searchable online

FamilySearch International today announced its participation in the 1950 U.S. Census Community Project. The announcement is being described as the next major milestone in family history. The U.S. Census Bureau collections are some of the most popular online databases used by millions of people for family history research. 

FamilySearch, sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is inviting online volunteers to assist in making the 1950 census easier for everyone to search and discover their family connections. The project is also receiving additional support from Ancestry.com and other organizations. Ancestry will use state-of-the-art handwriting recognition technology to scan the census images and make a functioning searchable index.

On April 1, 2022, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) of the United States will make digital images of the 1950 census available to the world. Protected by law for 72 years, this long-awaited census will be the most comprehensive record set available of those living in that historic era in the U.S. Most people in the U.S. today can remember an ancestor who can be found in the 1950 census.

This unique crowdsourcing project, the largest census undertaking to date, will make the 150 million records of the individuals found on the census’s tens of thousands of digital images searchable online. Starting with a computer-generated index provided by Ancestry, volunteers can help ensure the index is complete and accurate by reviewing and improving what has been done through automation.

1950 US Census

The 1950 census includes the records of 40,000,000 people born during this era of baby boomers. Information includes name, age, gender, race, education and place of birth. The census also posed more detailed questions that will cast a refreshing light on the preceding decade—which included World War II and the return of U.S. troops.

Enthusiasm and interest in the 1950 census have been building steadily since the release of the 1940 census in 2012. It also ushered in the civil rights movement, rock ’n’ roll, suburban living and a wave of innovations.

Although the 1950 census is notably larger than the 1940 census, thanks to advancements in technology, the anticipated help of online volunteers and community support, the project is expected to be completed in a few months following NARA’s census release.

To stay on top of the 1950 U.S. Census Community Project’s updates or to volunteer to help create the rich, searchable index, subscribe to FamilySearch.org/1950census.

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