My database contains the names of a long list of individuals and their place of residence, and I would like to retrieve the demographic information (gender, race, age, etc.) about the individuals the historical US censuses by the individuals’ place of residence.

I have looked into the APIs of various genealogy websites, but by far I have not found one that allows access to their historic records. For example, ancestry.com has indexed most of the historical US census, but they don’t have a public API.

I wonder whether there is any other way to search individuals in historical records?

  • Related: genealogy.stackexchange.com/q/9369/19
    – PolyGeo
    Jun 29, 2017 at 20:27
  • Also related: genealogy.stackexchange.com/q/11833/1006
    – Jan Murphy
    Jun 30, 2017 at 15:48
  • 1
    In my opinion, any attempt to automate genealogy in this way will fail. A computer cannot understand and make a decision whether the correct record is found based on nothing more than a name and a place. This is compounded by the extremely high rate of transcription errors, illegible records, and incorrect information contained in the records. Ancestry.com already tries to do this with it's "Hints", and more often than not they "find" records for completely unrelated individuals. If you do this, be prepared to manually go through 10,000 records to correct all the errors.
    – Harry V.
    Jul 2, 2017 at 16:15
  • What genealogical purpose do you have for this information? Could you retrieve it from the reports that were generated by the Census Bureau? For the 19th century reports, look at Google Books, Hathi Trust, etc. and the website of the Government Printing office.
    – Jan Murphy
    Jul 3, 2017 at 16:22
  • @HarryVervet Hi, thanks for the input. Good points about the problem with the search. I am also looking into this related thread, very interesting. (genealogy.stackexchange.com/questions/12720/…)
    – iuiu
    Jul 3, 2017 at 19:39


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