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Don Burleson Blog 








Important new historical database is online

Searching through microfiche documents in library archives is painstaking work, and it's now been alleviated with the digitizing of the 1870 United States census.

There is more detail in each successive census (the 1790 census is very sparse on details), but it interesting to note changes as social mores change.  For example, in 1870 there were three "groups":

  • White
  • Negro
  • Mulatto

Be sure to check out this new online database, a gold mine of genealogy and economic information, computerized and indexed at your fingertips:

What makes this especially interesting is the artificial intelligence that must have been used to decipher the unique handwriting of thousands of census takers.  Handwriting is not easy to read, especially in the old script style.  For example, here is a sample of my Grandfathers census handwriting, from the 1900 U. S. Census, 107 years ago:

1900 US census for Stanly County, North Carolina
by James Vespasian Burleson, 1869-1948

My grandpa should have been a doctor; his handwriting is very hard to read!  It's amazing that they have developed software for translating zillions of unique writing styles into accurate digital representations.


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