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Does Legacy make Census?

Census research is a great place to find out about one’s family. Though its accuracy may sometimes be questionable, the genealogists’ efforts would not be complete without a thorough search in the censuses.

Once a census is found, it needs to be documented. The following procedure is an example of how I input my census information into Legacy (the finest genealogy program in the universe!). I try to follow Elizabeth Shown Mills’ book, Evidence!, as a documentation guide.

This is not a lesson on the To Do List, but always record where you look (soundex, other indexes) and what you find in the To Do List.

Before anything else, set the source clipboard. Using the clipboard will save time and frustration. For instructions see the Legacy Family Tree manual. Begin by setting the master source. The following is what my master source looks like (using the guidelines in Evidence!):

Master Source - Census Example

  • Source Name - The source name is how the source appears in the master source index. Since I organize my documents by locality, I begin with the "reverse" locality - country (if other than U.S.), state, county, city. Now my master source list is arranged by locality, and I can easily tell what sources I have in "Hennepin County, MN", etc.

  • Title - The Title is the official name that will print in my documentation.

  • Publication Facts - The Publication Facts are copied and pasted from the Family History Library Catalog’s (FHLC) publication facts.

  • Text of Source - blank

  • Comments - "Microfilm of original records in the National Archives, Washington D.C." - this came directly from the Family History Library Catalog's (FHLC) comments

  • Repository - where did I find the census?

  • Picture - not needed

Once the master source is set, you’ll need to add the current source detail. Again, according to Evidence!, the entirety of this field reads:

Lorenzo D. Brown household, city of Minneapolis, enumeration district [ED] 157, supervisor's district [SD] 5, sheet 9b, dwelling 191, family 222, FHL Film #1374717

Detail Source - Census Example

Notice that the FHL Film number was included in the source detail.  This is because the original census is elsewhere, and was not created with this number.

Once the clipboard is set, add a new event, and call it "Census".  Below is an example of my census event.  Once you've typed everything you desire into the event, add the source with the single bar on the source clipboard.  You can get a lot of information from one line of a census: approximate birth, birth place, marriage information, occupation, etc. Make sure you document each event.  Notice I've also attached a scanned image of the census.

Send comments or questions to Geoffrey D. Rasmussen

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