Don’t Forget to Make Copies of Your Filled In 2010 Census Forms Before Returning It

Hi Everyone!

I just received my 2010 US Federal Census Form in the mail.  You should have already received your copy also or will soon receive it.

It certainly looks rather simple to fill out.  There does not appear to be a lot of information that is being gathered.  That is not necessarily good for future genealogists and your own descendants.  Is what you fill out today going to provide that “WOW” factor of an answer 72 years down the road in 2082 when your descendants want to find out the dirt about you.  It sure does not look like any information of note for researchers.  Pretty basic stuff.

You won’t find any information from this census to discover when someone arrived into the United States or did they become a Naturalized Citizen.  Or how long a couple has been married.  Or how many children did the woman have and how many are still alive.  Or how much their property is worth.  Or was the person a military veteran serving in what war.

For those of us that are genealogy researchers, I guess we will have to admit that what we have been able to discover from the 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930 Census material is far superior to what looks like will be available for future researchers from the 2010 Census in the year 2082.

Nonetheless, it behooves you to make a copy of what you will fill out for the 2010 Census before you return it to the Federal Government.  Keep the copy as a paper copy with your genealogical records and material that you will pass on to your children and grandchildren for them to keep the Family History Research moving forward, and backward, far after we ourselves are gone. 

With the technology available now, scan the saved paper copy and digitize it for your genealogical records as we do for so much other material we have.

We are actually luckier than our ancestors in being able to make a copy of what we provided as census data.  Our ancestors were visited by a census taker in person and did not have the benefit of getting a copy of what they verbally shared with the census taker.  So at least we can do our little bit for future generations by keeping a copy of what we actually filled out and submitted to our  federal government.

If my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandchildren look at the public data from the 2010 census in the year 2082 and sees what I filled out today, I am sure I would hear disappointment in the voices of these future researchers when they would say “Is that all there is about my ggggg-grandfather!!?”

So dutifully make a copy of the filled-out form before you return it.  Keep it with your other genealogical records.  And then sit down and appreciate it even more what you have been able to discover on your ancestors from the census data from 1790 to 1930.

Visit  the official census web site for this 2010 census at:

www.census.gov/2010census

You are fulfilling your obligation to reply just as our ancestors did.

You are now part of history to be discovered after 2082 when the 2010 census will become available to researchers of the future!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

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