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Kimberly Powell

Interactive 1860 U.S. Census at Footnote

By May 13, 2008

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Entry for James Scott in the 1860 U.S. Census at Footnote. Photo: Footnote.com.The 1860 U.S. Census made an appearance at historical records subscription site Footnote.com this past week. Some researchers might wonder why ... the 1860 census is already available from numerous other genealogy subscription sites, and portions of it can be found for free all over the Web. Yet, Footnote's version does bring something a bit different to the table - the ability to turn those names in the census enumerations into people by allowing users to enhance the listings by adding photos, stories, comments and related documents. It also brings the digitized census documents to Footnote's enhanced image viewer - my favorite of all the document viewers I've used online. It makes it easy to adjust the contrast and brightness of digitized images, as well as invert the images so that they appear white on black, or black on white. A handy film strip at the bottom makes it easy to move from page to page.

Footnote.com has included the 1860 U.S. Census to its Civil War collection which also includes service records of Confederate soldiers, a pension index for Union soldiers, and Southern Claims Commission files. Footnote is also working with FamilySearch and the National Archives to digitize the actual pension applications for Union widows.

The new 1860 U.S. Census database is available online to paid subscribers at Footnote.com, and is also available for free to users at local Family History Centers and the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. An annual subscription to Footnote.com is $59.95, or you can check it out with a 7-day free trial. If you're unable to locate someone you expect to find, don't panic. As of today the 1860 census database is only 66% complete, with the rest to come.

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