Don’t Forget the Relative Living Down the Street

One of the most common mistakes for rookie and even experienced genealogists is only identifying a specific household in a census. I have to admit that I’ve even fallen into this bad habit with my own family research. Remember that family, friends, and even networks such as religious and ethnic communities usually were found nearby. You may miss important relative connections living down the street and possibly recorded by the same enumerator!

To avoid this, think of the census as a more comprehensive community/city directory. Flip the pages of the census to check out who was living down the street or around the corner. Parents, brothers, sisters, cousins and in-laws households may be only a few line or pages away!

Don’t make the same mistake I did researching my great-grandfather’s 1910 census record 25 years ago. If I only flipped the page then, I would have found his brother (and family) living only a couple of houses down the street.