Were Your Ancestors Omitted in a Federal Census? Maybe A Local Newspaper Actually Published a Report Naming Names on Those Omitted from the Census?

Hi Everyone!

I just came across a wonderful article published in the Chicago Genealogist, the genealogy journal published by the Chicago Genealogical Society.  The article was in the Spring 2011, Volume 43, Number 3 issue of the journal.  Craig Pfannkuche of the society made the discovery on this fascinating article that was published by the Chicago Tribune on August 18, 1890 that actually listed those people who were omitted in the 1890 Federal Census from the City of Chicago!

This may be a very incomplete list, so do not get your hopes up too high!

Can you imagine discovering your ancestor listed in a local newspaper indicating that they were omitted from a census?

I would have never thought that newspapers would do something like this.  Imagine taking this idea and using it in your searches for missing ancestors from federal censuses.

This article specifically mentioned the 1890 census.  But you can possibly now research newspapers for just about any census when you may have an ancestor that you simply cannot find in the regular census.  Obviously, if you search digital newspapers for the area, you may very well find your ancestor’s name contained in an article that states they were omitted from a census.  What a nice discovery! 

Our library has this most recent publication of the Chicago Genealogical Society.  You may want to take a look at.  The article itself probably lists only about 150 names of individuals as well as some businesses that were omitted from the 1890 Census.  So your chances are small you may actually make a discovery.  But the fact that this article provides information on names associated with the 1890 Census makes this a nice discovery, especially if one of the names may be for someone you are researching for which the 1890 Census does not exist.

In fact, some of the listed information just provides an address of a residence and states “3 families omitted”.  No names, just a family count, not even a people count!

Open up your search strategy to consider newspapers in the area of your ancestors as a possible source to potentially find ancestors omitted in the Census that were then reported on as being omitted in the local newspaper.

I would have never thought of that idea!

Thanks to Craig Pfannkuche for having noted this discovery in the Chicago Genealogist. 

What an interesting discovery!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

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