On April 1, 2022, the 1950 United States Census was released for indexing. Through technology, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) program reads & deciphers the text on the scanned images within the census meaning the hard part is done. All that is left is the review of what the AI has indexed to ensure accuracy. This is still a monumental task, but one that most people will be able to assist with and we hope you take the time to become a part of history as we bring the 1950 U.S. Census to life for all the world to enjoy.
This document provides you with everything you need to get started.
This project can be done from a computer or a tablet such as the Apple iPad. You might find it difficult to do it from a smart phone.
Login to FamilySearch:
To get started, you need to go to FamilySearch.org and login to your account. If you don’t have an account, go ahead and create one as they are free.
Access the 1950 Census Page:
Once logged in, click the Get Involved menu item and then choose 1950 U.S. Census.
This will take you to the 1950 U.S. Census page where you will see a map of the United States that is color coded as to the level of completeness by state.
You can choose a State to work on by using the dropdown menu or by simply clicking on a State.
When you select a State, you will be given 3 project areas to work on.
This is the best place to start and is the easiest of the 3 available tasks.
Review Document Header
This is where you will review the location information at the top of the Census page.
This is where the magic happens as you make sure that the families on the page are correctly grouped together.
We’ll step through each of these project areas (tasks) below.
When you click on the Get Started button for any of the tasks, you are taken to a dialog window that allows you to confirm or change the State you want to work on and gives you the option to enter a family name.
This allows you to make your work much more personal.
If you know that members of your family were in a particular State in 1950, you can choose that State and then enter in their Last Name and you will be taken to a document page that matches your search.
You will be able to review your family’s information and then continue on to review the rest of the names on the Census page.
When you are ready, click the Search button to get started.
The Review Name Process:
Reviewing names is really easy and is the best place to begin as you get familiar with how the process works.
The system will step you through the different names on the page and show you what the computer thought the document said.
The names are highlighted in blue.
If you think the name was correctly indexed by the computer, you can confirm it by clicking the green Match button.
If you think it is incorrect, but can tell what it says, you can click in the white box and edit the name.
If you are just not sure if the name is correct, you can click the blue Unsure button and it will be given to someone else to review.
Sometimes the computer makes a mistake and indexes a line that says Vacant or No One At Home.
In this case, you would choose the Not a Person option.
As you complete each name, the system will step you through the page until you have completed 20 names. You will then be given the option to continue with another 20 or more names or to quit by clicking the Maybe Later link.
The Review Document Header Process:
The Review Document Header process is similar to the Review Name process except that you are doing the review of the top section of the Census page.
The system will highlight the area to be reviewed in blue and give you a set of fields with the text it thinks is on the document.
You can update any of the items that are incorrect.
Notice in the image above that the computer has entered the text "-,Mary" for a field that is clearly blank.
In this case, you would simply remove the incorrect text and move on to the next section by clicking the Next button.
The Review Family Process:
The Review Family process is similar to the other two tasks where the system highlights the text on the document in blue and gives you options of what it thinks is correct.
However, in this task, you are looking to see if the families have been correctly grouped together.
Many times, the Census takers would enter the Last Name for the head of household, but then just draw a line for the Last Name of the family members. Without doing this step, we wouldn’t know what the last name was for an individual on the Census page.
You can see how the system has correctly grouped Kenneth A Snethen to his family members in the image below.
Since everything is correct, I can click the Next button to continue to the next section.
This task has 11 different sections to be reviewed and can take some time to do.
Seeing Your Progress:
After you have reviewed some names, you can go back to the main page with the map of the United States and scroll down to the section right below the map. There you will find your personal contribution statistics.
We hope this was helpful in getting you started! Please let us know if you have any questions in the comments below!