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Kimberly Powell

On a Budget? Access the U.S. Census for Free

By May 21, 2013

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A wide variety of options exist online for searching and viewing digitized copies of U.S. census records from 1790 to 1940. Several subscription-based sites offer the entire run, with seamless searching and browsing. However, if you only need access to a few census records, or are particularly budget-conscious, you can also achievefree access to the entire U.S. census run 1790-1940 with a little extra effort.

Heritage Quest Online offers free access to all U.S. census images 1790-1940 (and select indexes) to anyone who has free access through a participating local, state, or university library system. Contact or check the website of your local public library, as well as your state and any nearby university libraries, to see if they offer remote access to Heritage Quest Online and if you are eligible to apply for a library card. Alternatively, you can use the free census indexes available on FamilySearch, in combination with the free digitized U.S. census images on Internet Archive (no indexes) to achieve free access to the entire U.S. census collection 1790-1930. The 1940 U.S. census (not necessarily other records) is completely free from several sources, including Archives.com (not to be confused with Internet Archive--archive.org), Ancestry.com (free account required to view records), FamilySearch.org, MyHeritage.com,and FindMyPast.com (free registration required).

Learn more in Sources for U.S. Census Records Online

May 21, 2013 at 7:56 pm
(1) DFletcher says:

Your article at this URL mentions free access to Archives.com. There are some records available but from what I’ve found, it’s very limited and the response I received today is that it allows a free 7-day usage and then there is a monthly membership cost. This article is very misleading.

May 31, 2013 at 9:38 pm
(2) ~Kimberly says:

As I said above, I only stated in this article that access to the 1940 U.S. census on Archives.com is free. Other records on the site are not free, and I did not say that they were. This article was specifically referring to places where you can access U.S. census records for free. Since there is no one place that offers all U.S. census images and indexes for free, the point is to read carefully and learn what specifically you can access for free at each site that is mentioned.

May 21, 2013 at 9:08 pm
(3) John says:

I DO NOT put any of my thousands of docs or pictures on any web that charges people to get further info from a so called FREE search. Often, initial search is free, but to delve deeper it cost u $$$. Misleading and some one should take these organizations to task,

May 23, 2013 at 5:48 pm
(4) Hilda says:

Your article at this URL mentions free access to Archives.com. In order to find obituaries in newspapers online, it allowed me a free 7-day trial. When I said yes, there is a monthly membership fee of $6.95 which will extend month by month unless I unsubscribe. I ditto previous comments – this article is very misleading. Rewrite article when “free” is mentioned.

May 31, 2013 at 9:36 pm
(5) ~Kimberly says:

This article does NOT mention free access to Archives.com other than the 1940 U.S. census. I said that you can access free digital images of the 1790–1930 U.S. census at the Internet Archive (http://www.archive.org). Notice that one website is a .COM and the other a .ORG. Archives.org is 100% free. What I did say about Archives.com is that the 1940 U.S. census can be accessed there for free. This does not apply to their other records such as obituaries and newspapers. This is true for many of the other websites I mentioned in that last sentence as well — the free only applies to accessing the 1940 U.S. census which is the subject of that sentence.

May 28, 2013 at 1:34 pm
(6) Sandra says:

Why does everyone mislead people by saying something is FREE when it is not. Some of us are on very limited incomes. Thanks to our government. They give money to everyone else except the hard working people in this country when they retire. As always it is the rich who get everything. They know how to rip off the government because our government makes laws to help them.

May 28, 2013 at 5:57 pm
(7) David W.Rickenbacher says:

I am just very curious why…I look up my nephew David M. Burkhalter who I have need seem for over 24 years.. He lives in California….Did I get a totally surprise…..His grandparents or I are not on this list…..My parents raise there grandson and I help out too passed away. …. I also lived at home too…..This got me very curious….Today I am married… My wife and family live in BC Canada… I still have all the slide and photos and etcs that my parents collected …….. MY folks live in Seattle Washington and they grandson live in California….. My sister has reject …. All off us for years…

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