Nebraska Census Images

Yikes!  Those 1885 Nebraska Census images are really difficult to read! 

Thank you for your feedback.  Based on your suggestions, we’re going to take them back in-house and see if we can improve the images before we bring them back online.  In the meantime, we’re adding new projects such as Alabama State Census, the Andrews Collection, and naturalization indexes.

Thank you again and please stay tuned for more information about the Nebraska Census images in the next few weeks.

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I don’t understand the Ala. census. The set up doesn’t match up. When you key in given & surname name and enter my line goes to prefis and the highlighter goes to next name. I don’t want to mess any thing up. Help

With the Ala. census, I found that I had to keep dragging the document back into place. Place markers didnt seem to work on these. I did the best that I could with what I had to work work with.

The 1885 Nebraska Census were definately a challenge but a good experience with old writing none the less.

I just pulled up the Nebraska Census to start trying to key the data, but what I found was just impossible to decipher. I have tried every enhancement I know of, including enlargement, contrast, concentrating on one letter at a time and I cannot say for certain that I have correctly identified anything. There has to be some safe way to darken the writing better or it is an exercise in futility. I appears that whatever writing instument that was used did not leave enough impression or particles of either pencil lead or ink and time has taken its toll. At that time I think the ink was home made and not of consistent quality so that it has faded. This is worse than my attempts at transcribing old German church documents in script yet. Hopefully you will find a way to get us better images so we can at least give a guess at what it is.

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It would be great to work on the Naturalization Indexes. When will they be available?

Will the Highlight feature be corrected? This would go a lot faster if the Highlight automatically went to the next position.

Working on the Alabama census and having the same issues as the other commenters – the keying tool is not matching up even close and I have to keep pulling back and forth and keeping track manually. As Penny said, I just wrestled through it. Second issue is that some pages seem to be duplicates (i.e. same names in same order) but in a DIFFERENT HANDWRITING! Very weird and I am sure I have keyed in some duplicates not realizing that it was the same info.

The Alabama census is a really difficult one to key since the place markers are not working and as Penny stated you have to keep going back with the scroll key. Very difficult. Also the census taker could not spell and some names are impossible to read. Trying to do my best but it’s difficult.

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For those of you who are having trouble keying the Alabama census because of the highlight: If you put your mouse pointer over the highlight you can drag the highlight up or down. The adjustment doesn’t last long and your highlight will misalign again, but it’s alot easier this way.

when keying Ala. census the last name is in parenthesis is a first and last name do you put the complete name in the last name space.

Having same issue as melodee, I think. In Ala. census, colored persons are often listed by first name only and associated with another person whose full name is given in parenthesis. Any ideas how to key in?

Having the same problems as others with the highlight not lining up. It would be nice if we could resize the highlight vertically so that it matched the size of the row better.

Stephanie, great idea! I had thought the same thing, if I could adjust the highlighted area it would make entering the data much easier.

I have been looking at census records for 6 years now and I have to say, I think this ranks up there with one of the worst ones I’ve ever tried to read! Not only is it hard to read, but the writing is terrible and the spelling is out of this All in all though, it is a great learning experience and a true honor to be able to be working on such a project 🙂 We will all some how push through it and I hope someone out there will benefit from it in the future.

I reallly enjoy doing the census projects. I have worked both the Alabama and Nebraska. The poor writing and the strange names are a challenge. I think I should have been a detective because of the fun I have in deciphering some of the entries. I have found that having the “Search Census” feature from Ancestry in another window is very useful. I use both the previous and subsequent federal census as cross references. I probably get hits about 50% of the time either searching for the surname if it is readable or an uncommon given name if not. In the Nebraska 1885 census, I use both the 1880 and 1900 Federal census for reference. In the 1866 Alabama, I used both the 1860 and the 1870 Federal. I search the state and county (if known) that the data indicates that they were living in during the subsequent census. Noting children and the state in which they were born usually gives good clues to what state’s Federal census to check.

Where does one post questions about a specific project?

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