Computers Need Human Help on 1950 U.S. Census

Yes! You read it right.

Computers need you to participate in the 1950 U.S. Census Community Project coordinated by FamilySearch. The 1950 Population Schedule has been digitalized by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) for release to the public on April 1st. Ancestry created artificial intelligence software that reads handwriting from historical documents and transcribes the data, using a unique blend of machine and human evaluation to create indexes. Even the best computer-generated index requires human help, however. FamilySearch is recruiting volunteers to review the index by comparing it with the digitalized images and providing corrections.

Ancestry Corporate Genealogist Crista Cowan explains the value of census records in locating meaningful discoveries saying, “The 1950 U.S. Census contains the details of names, ages, birthplaces, residences, and relationships of more than 150 million people. This glimpse into American households at a critical time in U.S. history will help people discover even more about the effects the Great Depression, World War II, and the beginning of the Baby Boom had on their families.”

Sign up now to review information and verify the accuracy of entries for some of the 150 million people named in the 1950 Census when it’s released on April 1st. Join other North Carolina Genealogical Society members who are jumping at the chance to be a part of this amazing community project. Family Search even suggests that you request a specific location and review your own neighborhood. You might recognize grandparents, parents, and even yourself and make volunteering a lovely trip down memory lane!

Sign up here to be part of the review process beginning April 1st.

NARA has additional information about the 1950 Census, including what questions were asked and instructions for enumerators.

Beginning March 2nd, NARA will be hosting a series of webinars about the 1950 Census. The sessions are free and registration is NOT required. Learn more about the sessions on the NARA calendar.