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Enhanced Indexes to the U. S. Censuses

FamilySearch and Ancestry.com Team to
Publish New Images and Enhanced Indexes to the U.S. Censuses

This announcement has already been posted on other genealogy blogs. I ran across it tonight on The Accidental Genealogist blog at http://theaccidentalgenealogist.blogspot.com/

SALT LAKE CITY—Ancestry.com and FamilySearch, the two largest online family history resources, announced today they will exchange records and resources to make more historical records available online. The first project is a joint initiative to significantly enhance the online U.S. Federal Census Collection (1790 to 1930). The original census records are among the holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

FamilySearch is digitally converting master microfilm copies of the original U.S. Federal Censuses from 1790 through 1930 and, under this agreement, will give these improved images to Ancestry.com. All census images and indexes will be available on Ancestry.com for subscribers. As projects are completed, images will be available for free in NARA reading rooms and FamilySearch’s 4,500 Family History Centers.

Ancestry.com, which currently offers indexes and images to the entire publicly available U.S. Federal Census Collection, will give FamilySearch copies of its existing census indexes. Through its online indexing system and community of volunteer indexers, FamilySearch is already indexing select censuses. FamilySearch will merge the Ancestry.com indexes with the new FamilySearch indexes to create enhanced census indexes, which will be added to both sites. Indexes to the enhanced censuses will be free on Ancestry.com for a limited time as they are completed. Indexes will also be available for free on FamilySearch.org.

Allen Weinstein, the Archivist of the United States, welcomed this agreement as a significant benefit for researchers. He remarked that, “Census records are among the most important documents the American people have to trace their genealogy and know their family history. Having two of our partners working together to enhance the indexes and images of these essential documents will enable an unprecedented level of access and understanding.”

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You can read this article in its entirety on The Accidental Genealogist by Lisa Alzo, a genealogist and writer currently residing in New York.

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