‘Hopping Through History’ makes sense of census, offers tips on genealogical research

You’ve heard of the census and probably completed one or two — or more. It’s unlikely, however, that you’ve dug deep into the data to see how the numbers reflect the happenings in the nation or who’s who in your history. 

Herrick District Library’s “Hopping Through History — Making Sense of the Census” covers those topics. The virtual program will examine the importance of each census from 1790 to 1940 and give participants ideas for filling in the blanks on their family tree.

The program will be held via Zoom from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 24. Visit libcal.herrickdl.org/ to register for the free event.

“Hopping through the census is a free virtual program intended to give you ideas and how-tos for your research journey,” HDL genealogy librarian Mary VanderKooy says.

The federal census is a rich resource for those researching family history. However, federal privacy law keeps each census from public view for 72 years. For example, the 1950 census will be available beginning in April 2022. 

Genealogical research

During “Hopping through History — Making Sense of the Census,” genealogist Megan Heyl will tell participants how to best use census records for genealogical research.

“The virtual nature of this presentation allows community members to connect over a common interest, despite not being in the same physical space. It also opens the door to sharing strategies and collaborating on research,” VanderKooy said. “It’s ideal for anybody interested in researching their family — especially those who want to know the details (good, bad, or ugly) of their own ancestors.”

The program requires internet access and a device that can run the Zoom meeting app or website. Participants will be encouraged to ask questions.

The U.S. Census is available on Ancestry Library Edition, which is available through the library to use at home through the end of 2021. It is also available through MyHeritage. Both of these databases are available on the HDL website with an HDL library card.


Read more articles by Shandra Martinez.