U. S. Census Pathfinder now available

I recently completed a free PDF e-book: U. S. Census Pathfinder.

This e-book compiles available information from government and independent websites concerning the U. S. federal census. These resources will allow genealogists and historians to use the federal census to its greatest potential. Among the resources are

  • authorizing acts of Congress;
  • enumeration instructions;
  • original (blank) census forms;
  • information about the original manuscript schedules held at the National Archives in Washington;
  • links and descriptive pamphlets (DPs) of the microfilm editions;
  • links to free and pay sources for digital images;
  • statistical compendia; and
  • explanatory or background articles.

If you use the federal census in your research—and what American researcher doesn’t?—please use this to find the background material you need. You can find the e-book in the “Free Resources” section of my business website, or by following the link above.

Enjoy, and let me know what you think. What have I missed?


16 responses to this post.

  1. Thank you for this file. I have downloaded it and have given it a quick review before I began this thank you note. This is going to help me a lot when I “graduate” to the before 1850 census reports. And if it had been in my “study collection” here at home, I wouldn’t have needed to bother TGF with my question about were to find alternate images. Someone on that forum told me that HeritageQuest has all the images through 1930 — that the incompleteness is in the indexing rather than the existence of images. I haven’t had a chance to check this out, but if it is true it would provide another chance for comparative readings.

    Thank you again for this very useful source.


  2. Posted by Peggy L. on December 20, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    Michael, I’ve had a chance to look through it, and you have done a fine job. Thank you so much for making this available!! It’s a nice Christmas present.


  3. […] U.S. Census Pathfinder now available from Planting the Seeds […]


  4. […] U.S. Census Pathfinder now available from Planting the Seeds […]


  5. Thank you, Michael. This is a handy resource!


  6. Posted by Beth on December 21, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Thank you! I’ve only glanced through, but what a well-organized collection of information!


  7. Posted by J. Paul Hawthorne on December 21, 2012 at 11:42 am

    A wonderful gift to close out 2012. Thank you for all your hard work.


  8. Posted by George Paul Farris on December 21, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Seasons Greetings Mr Hait:

    I had been wondering why your blog postings, to which I look forward, were trailing-off. Now I see why. Your compilation of “U. S. Census Pathfinder” is an amazing gift to the genealogy community as a whole. Thank you for your thoughtful insight in providing such a helpful resource. My best wishes for a blessed holiday for you and your family.

    Very respectfully,


  9. Merci! This is very helpful, Michael. Thanks indeed for your work on this resource.


  10. Great work, Michael and very kind of you to share it with us. Thank you!


  11. Fantastic, Michael! Thanks for making it available! ~ Stephanie


  12. Michael, thank you so much for this wonderful resource! —Toni


  13. Thank you, Michael, for offering such a useful guide. I’ll be recommending this to students and others who need to look at the US censuses.So many of us in Canada do have relatives from and in the USA.


  14. Posted by Candi on December 27, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Thank you Michael. Will the link remain the same so that I can refer back to it from time to time? It’s a great resource!


  15. […] Hait recently announced the release of a free PDF e-book, U. S. Census Pathfinder. Yes, my friends, this is a free resource […]


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