1950 US Census Community Project

Frequently Asked Questions

The 1950 US Federal Census is here! Join us in a nationwide community effort to help make those images searchable for free on FamilySearch.org. Together, we are reviewing and improving an automated index, created by Ancestry using handwriting recognition technology.

How will volunteers help create the index for the 1950 US Census?

Volunteers will review and improve the automated index created by Ancestry, making sure it’s accurate and complete. There are three ways to review the index.

Name Review

This activity presents you with a single name at a time to review. If the name matches what is on the image, click Match. If it doesn't, click Edit and fix the spelling to match the name on the image. If you're not sure, click Unsure.

This activity is available in the Get Involved section of FamilySearch.org or in the new Get Involved mobile app (available for Apple iOS or Android).


Family Review

Family Review is the main activity for reviewing the census. You will be shown a head of household and be instructed to mark who is in the household.


With a focus on that household, you will then compare each field on the image to the index to verify that the image and index match. If the computer got the index wrong, you will correct the index.


Header Review

In this activity, you will review the information at the top of the census page and compare it to the index below, again fixing what doesn’t match.


Additional Frequently Asked Questions

About the Project

Where do I go to help?
How can I know when a state I want to help with is launched?
Is it true that we’re not using the FamilySearch indexing program to review the index?
What is the difference between what NARA is doing and what FamilySearch and Ancestry are doing?
Will the work I do be added to my indexing statistics?
Does the introduction of this review process mean traditional indexing is going away?
Where can I learn more about the initial 1950 census release?
I have more questions! Where do I go to ask more questions about the census project?

Reviewing the Index

Can I review a specific county or state?
Can I review an entire page?
Where do I go for instructions on how to review the index?

Project Timeline

What can I do today? When will the project be launched?
How will I know when the state I want to review is available?
What happened on April 1st?
What are you doing about Alaska and Hawaii and other US Territories?
Where can I learn more?

Group Participation

Can my society or organization help as a group?
How do I invite members to join the group?
Can my organization adopt and review a specific location?
Why would my society or organization want to be involved in the 1950 US Census project?
Our group (society, ward, stake, etc.) already has an indexing group, do we need a group in this new system too?
Will these stats be added to our indexing group reports?
How does my organization review as a group?

Publishing the Index

Will the index and images be published on FamilySearch or Ancestry?
When will I be able to search the completed index by name?
If someone was serving overseas in the military, will they be included?
If the US Territories aren’t included in the project, will they still be published?

Additional 1950 US Census Resources

Please click on the tiles below to access additional resources.
Learn more, and sign up to receive email updates about the 1950 US Census.
Download sharable resources for publicity.
Watch sessions from RootsTech to learn more about the 1950 census.
New processes and innovations will change how the index is created and reviewed.