Show Notes

Episode 197: Planning Ahead: The 1950 Census

Genealogists in the U.S. are excited about the release of the 1950 U.S. census, which happens at midnight tomorrow. Janine is eagerly awaiting it (it’s been on her calendar for months!). This week Shannon and Janine discuss the value of planning ahead — and enjoying the anticipation.

Discussion topics include:

  • The upcoming release of the results of the 1950 U.S. census
  • How technology advances have made it easier to search on the 1950 census the day it is released
  • Whether or not the 72-year rule for the delay in releasing censuses is based on lifespan and whether it will change with increased life span
  • How the release of the 1940 census was the gateway drug that got Shannon into genealogy
  • How Janine is preparing for the release of the census
  • Janine’s inability to be chill about this
  • The joy of anticipating something
  • Studies that show that you can get more benefit from anticipating an event than the event itself
  • How any preparation Janine was able to do for the census is time well spent, even if she didn’t do as much as she hoped
  • Janine’s biggest fear about what might happen the day the census is released
  • Thinking through what might go wrong with a plan and having a back up plan
  • How planning ahead is about creating the enjoyment of anticipation, not trying to create a perfect plan

Note from Janine: I went down an enjoyable rabbit hole trying to ascertain whether the 72-Year Rule for census release was based on lifespan. It would appear that the answer is no one knows for sure. This article from NPR provides an easily understandable explanation of the issue. Also, the NPR article states that there are no signs of any active talk about changing the interval.


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