Hello… My name is Eric Horne and I’ve just joined the U.S. Content team as the Product Manager. It seems only proper to introduce myself as I’ll continue to update you on the world of United States content here at Ancestry.com. I’ve been with Ancestry.com since 2004; I began my career here in our Member Services department, where I worked directly with you, the customer, I later transitioned to the Document Preservation group where I scheduled our worldwide digitization process and am now excited about this new challenge with content.
I’m fortunate to come into this position at this time. We just finished up our annual content survey where tens of thousands of you took the time to give us feedback to help us shape our 2010 road-map. Over the next few weeks, I’d like to share a few of the facts and lessons we learned then discuss how this information is going to equate to the content we deliver to the site.
A smart question to ask, when polling our customers, is what type of content do you want (I know, we’re geniuses)… here’s your top three requests:
- Birth, Marriage and Death Records
- U.S. Federal Census (no big surprise here)
- Immigration and Naturalization Records
In this post we’ll start with census – something we’ve recently blogged about. We knew you were going to ask for the census, so we preemptively queued up some major census projects for 2009-2010. As you know, we recently released our full U.S. Federal Census improvement project. This includes new, enhanced images for the U.S. Federal Census from 1790 through 1870 and improved indexes for 1850 through 1870. We’re also working on 1910, 1920 and 1930. This is a major milestone for U.S. Federal Census – we have improved the quality of over 200 million records that will shine new light on previously difficult to read images.
In addition to the Population schedules of the U.S. Federal Census, you asked for other State Census and Non-Population schedules all of which we’ll be releasing in the coming months. These include:
- Dependent, Defective and Delinquent Schedules – This collection includes details about people classified as insane, idiots, deaf-mutes, blind, homeless children, inhabitants in prison, and pauper and indigent.
- Non-Population Census Schedules, 1850-1880 – These records focus on agriculture, industry and manufacturing, and social statistics; they can yield valuable insights into your ancestors’ economic and social activities.
- State and Territory Census Records – State censuses were taken at the midpoint between federal census years—in 1885, for example—and are useful for tracing your family’s migration patterns.
If you haven’t already, take some to check out the new censuses – I’ll post soon to let you know the rest of our content survey results.