The up-to-date version of this post will be maintained at http://genweblog.blogspot.com/2006/07/1880-us-census-free-to-search-at.html
Interesting article today in the the Ancestry newsletter -
The entire article is available at http://www.ancestry.com/rd/prodredir.asp?sourceid=831&key=A973201
BEYOND THE INDEX: "MORE 1880 CENSUS SEARCH OPTIONS," by Michael John Neill
We have looked at the 1880 census search interface at Ancestry.com in the past. This week we revisit the search interface, which now offers researchers eighteen fields upon which to search. The variety of search options allows researchers to potentially locate undiscovered family members. However, the increased number of search options requires the researcher to be organized and systematic. This week we look at some strategies I used in my attempts to locate two of my ancestors' lost siblings in the 1880 census.
Note: The 1880 Census Index at Ancestry.com is free and use of the database does not require a paying membership. Access to images of the census is available for a subscription fee.
It is truly wonderful when you can find the object of your search with a few basic techniques. Some cases are more difficult, and Neill's systematic approach is one way to find the person using online indexes of all sorts. Jan Nutter Alpert asks, in her article More Tips From Ancestry.com From The NGS Winter Warm Up Recently In
Phoenix in the NGS UpFront Vol. 4, No. 3, 1 February 2005, "Did you know that if you go to the 1880 Census search page, you can enter your surname with an occupation and see where your ancestors lived who had the same occupation?" [I would qualify that to say "persons who shared surname and occupation"] She adds,
Did you know you can save the results of your searches on Ancestry.com by using the "MyAncestry" link? Why is this helpful? If you need to look at the census again, you just click on the name under "MyAncestry" and everything you have saved for that ancestor is there. Even though I make a paper copy of the census, it is easier to "zoom in" to analyze difficult handwriting online. Also when you want to take another look at the census page to see if other relatives live nearby, you can find the prior census page more easily. Since the conference I have also used the email feature to forward these new census pages to others who are researching the same family. Once you have entered an ancestor in MyAncestry you can enter the birth and/or death data you have and launch future searches from here, saving the time of having to enter the same data for each search.
Obstacles cannot crush me. Every obstacle yields to stern resolve. He who is fixed to a star does not change his mind. - Leonardo da Vinci, 1452-1519