Woman Uses 1930 US Census to Find Long Lost Brother

Sib­lings Albert Taber and Flo­rence Hand reunited in 2010 after 85 years

CNN reports about a woman named Flo­rence Hand, who had an inkling that she had been sep­a­rated from a sib­ling, 85 years ago.

Using the Ancestry.com 1930 US Cen­sus, she found this brother liv­ing with her grand­fa­ther. She used this infor­ma­tion to find him, and they have been reunited.

The CNN piece is brief but makes a cou­ple of points that are impor­tant for begin­ning Amer­i­can geneal­o­gists to remem­ber, here they are in a more elab­o­rated form:

Spelling. Con­sider alter­nate spellings. Suc­cess will come to those who think, “I won­der if they could have spelled it this way?”

The US Cen­sus is a pow­er­ful tool. It is easy to access online, and it can help place your ances­tors in par­tic­u­lar places at par­tic­u­lar times. Per­son­ally iden­ti­fi­able cen­sus data is released 72 years after it is taken, for the pri­vacy of indi­vid­u­als. So the most recent cen­sus avail­able is the 1930 cen­sus. (I will add that this also means that the 1940 cen­sus is becom­ing avail­able on April 2, 2012 in a dig­i­tal for­mat from the National Archives at their facil­i­ties and over the Inter­net. For more infor­ma­tion, see the National Archives page about the 1940 Cen­sus.

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