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FamilySearch seeks volunteers to help transcribe 1950 US census

FamilySearch will index the records in partnership with Ancestry

A graphic saying '1950 US Census Community Project History Is Waiting Get Started Today'

Free family history website FamilySearch is seeking volunteers to review transcriptions of the 1950 US census.

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Under US law, census records can be released after 72 years.

On 1 April 2022 the American National Archives and Records Administration will release images of the census returns on its website, accompanied by an automated OCR (optical character recognition) index to enable basic name searching.

Paid family history website Ancestry will then use its own AI (artificial intelligence) technology to make an index of the records.

Online volunteers on FamilySearch will then be able to find a surname or location of personal interest to them as a starting point to perform a comprehensive review of the computer-generated index to ensure it is accurate and complete.

The 1950 US census holds records of 150 million people, including 14 past and future US presidents and famous people like singer Aretha Franklin and actor Jimmy Stewart. The records shed details on their lives, including their name, age, gender, race, education, occupation and place of birth.

You can sign up to receive updates on the 1950 US census release and how to take part in the indexing efforts here.

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Rosemary Collins is the features editor of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine