Using Online Indexes to Determine Population

According to the “1870 Federal Census,” there were 2744 people living in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, in 1870. Depending upon your research problem, that may be a good thing to know. search-population
Obtaining demographic data from online indexes can be fast and easy. Just remember a few key points:

  • indicate the source of the numbers–website, title of database, date of search, and search terms.
  • know how to search for specific locations without using names of individuals
  • determine how the place was extracted and entered into the database–sometimes names are incorrect, abbreviations are used irregularly, etc.
  • make it clear the numbers are not from federal government reports
  • consider using multiple databases to perform the same search

In some census records, these totals are at the end of the area being enumerated. Don’t avoid using the actual census record to obtain this information as well.


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