The Bottom Line
Complete, though somewhat cumbersome, Ancestry's US Census Collection is the best bet for subscribers to other Ancestry collections, or for people who don't know where their ancestors lived. --Review last updated - April 2004
- More years indexed than other sites
- Every name index for most census years
- Good value if purchased with other databases
- Browsing is a bit slow and cumbersome
- Printing clear, full page images is difficult
- MrSID viewer doesn't work well with Mac OS X
- Census images for each U.S. federal census, 1790-1930
- Every name census indexes for 1790-1840, 1860 (partial), 1870-1890, and 1920.
- Head of household census index for 1850 and 1920
- Census images only for 1900 and 1910
- Available for $99.95 as an annual subscription or $39.95 as a quarterly subscription.
- Census images are scanned in 256 color greyscale, rather than black and white.
- Basic Image Viewer allows Mac and PC users to view images and doesn't require additional software.
- Free MrSID viewer allows advanced zooming and printing features for census years 1790-1920.
- Advanced Image Viewer, used only for the 1930 census, provides sharp images and clear printouts.
Guide Review - Ancestry.com - US Census Online
The first complete collection of US Census images available online, the Ancestry.com US Census collection provides users with access to more than 549 million names in 12.7 million images. Most census years are indexed, but many appear to be based on AIS indexes, which are prone to errors. Census images are scanned in 256 color greyscale, rather than black and white, which can make reading a bit more difficult, but protects the integrity of the original image. The MrSID viewer works well for most people, although browsing is slow and cumbersome, and printing an entire page can be difficult. A better viewing experience can be had from the Advanced Image Viewer, used exclusively for the 1930 census - with planned expansion to all census years.