2020 US Census - further thoughts #general

jeremy frankel

I would like to thank Stephen Weinstein et al for their responses to my original posting about the genealogical value of the 2020 US Census.

As Stephen succinctly notes, the information contained in any record gathering process that may be of genealogical value is but an "accidental benefit." Admittedly each record is but a snapshot in time, however, when one puts together census records, ship manifests, voter records, city directories, etc, it all becomes a moving image of our families' progression through time and place.

That said, and with the plethora of documents available to us that were created 50–100 years ago, if we were to peer into the gloom of the future, what kind of "records" will be available to the genealogist of the future, who is trying to create a picture of their family in 2020? Where are the city directories? Where are the manifests? Where are the phone books? And as we have now seen, the census is not much more helpful other other than just stating who was living when and where and how people in a household were related to one another. Better than nothing, I suppose.

How will people do genealogy in 2120, or as some have opined, the whole genealogical enterprise will be a thing of the past!

Jeremy G Frankel
ex-Edgware, Middlesex, England
now Sacramento, California, USA

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