Tuesday, May 8, 2012

U.S. Census Availability on the Internet

I picked up the January copy of Family Tree Magazine (I know, I was reading it again) and I found a short article called "Another Census Source." The gist of the article was that Archives.com was adding access to the 1790 through 1930 U.S. Censuses. The addition by Archives.com was characterized as "game-changing." The article further noted that this addition brought "Archives.com which launched in July 2009, into more-direct competition with industry leader Ancestry.com."

These statements are extremely interesting in the context of the announcement by Ancestry.com of its acquisition of Archives.com. It is also interesting that Archives.com is participating in the 1940 U.S. Federal Census Project. Does this mean that Ancestry.com is now involved in the Census Project directly or indirectly? Those people who went to work for Archives.com now find themselves working for their main competitor.

There is also a very interesting comment in the article that states, "Until now, Ancestry.com was the only site providing access to all extant US census records and document images." This is simply not correct, but it is interesting to wonder why the comment was made. If you would like a status list of online U.S. Census records you can see my article on FamilySearch TechTips called "Online United States Census Records."

Will Ancestry.com keep two complete copies of the U.S. Census online? Will Ancestry.com merge some or all of Archives.com's records into its own database like it is doing with Genline.com? What about overlap in records between Archives.com, Fold3.com and Ancestry.com?

1 comment:

  1. Are you sure the statement, "Until now, Ancestry.com was the only site providing access to all extant US census records and document images," is incorrect? Even FamilySearch.com still doesn't have all extant US federal census records with document images, does it? For some records, they just have links to other sites, such as Ancestry.