When possible, I cross-check addresses against the USPS Zip Code Finder, and local property tax records so I can get a landowner's map with the property lines on it. If the building is still deliverable, and the property information card shows a building built before the census year in question, then I download relevant block-and-lot maps for the neighborhood in question. If the modern properties don't seem to correspond to the ED maps of the period (see below), I look for articles about street re-naming and re-numbering in historical newspapers.
If you haven't done so already, use some of the other One-Step tools on Stephen P. Morse's site.
- Download the ED maps for the area and locate the EDs of interest on the map.
- Using the Unified Finder, read the description of the EDs (either the transcription, from the microfilm images, or both) and try to determine the enumerator's path. The Field Enumeration Procedures begin on page 2 of the Urban Enumerator's Manual, which is online at Hathi Trust. Page 3 has a map showing which way around the block the enumerator was supposed to walk.
- Use the modern-day maps via Google or Bing and compare them to the 1950 ED maps. Do they make sense, or are there signs the street may have been re-numbered?
- Correlate some of the people you can find in your target EDs with a city directory close to the 1950 Census in time.
If everything looks good, and you think you're in the right area, then
- Check all the sheets from Sheet 71 to the end of the ED in case the address was visited as part of a callback.
- Look for notes about households who are not at home in the main sequence of the EDs.
- Check the surrounding EDs to your EDs of interest in case that address was enumerated in those EDs by mistake.
For an example of a project to map an entire immigrant community over time, see Tammy Hepps' site Homestead Hebrews. These articles are of special interest:
Bear in mind that some people simply weren't counted, and in some EDs, the Census Bureau may have skipped pages when the Census was microfilmed. The originals have been destroyed, so if a page was missed, we can't ask them to go back to the paper records.
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