TIM'S TERRIFIC TIPS ON NATURALIZATIONS, OATHS, CENSUS

Copyright 1996
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NATURALIZATIONS AND OATHS
I've found two important lists available. One is the US Oath taken around 1777 by what seems to be immigrant heads of households. They are available in copied forms from the counties where the oaths were taken.

The other list is of naturalizations from the 1730's through the 1760's. I don't know why these folks needed naturalized since they seem to have been when they entered the country. Maybe they lost their papers ? ? Maybe they redid the naturalizations. Anyways, it seems like the same people are listed, that is, immigrant heads of households. See the book Naturalization in the American Colonies for names, dates, and locations (by Giuseppi, not sure where it can be purchased).

CENSUS RECORDS
Get them, all of them ! Every ten years from 1790 to 1920, except 1890. Prior to 1850, only a tally by sex and age is listed for each head of household. With 1850 and on, names of family members are included. Write down not only the names, but the roll, page, line number etc., and also occupation, birth place, etc. You may want to come back to recheck an age or something and don't want to reread all those pages. In PA, there are index books available in libraries and historical societies from 1790 to 1860 (1860 books are rarer). Soundex indices are available from 1880 on (I think). Don't worry about soundex yet, other than if your looking in a big city after 1880, you better find a soundex index or mail/phone order the page from someone who does. For census records from a big city, I usually pay someone to look up that page. In areas where I have several relatives (direct and sibling) in one area, I just buy the census role. A book that lists counties and role numbers is:

This is probably the best book they publish, and I highly recommend it. It also contains dates/origins of townships and counties, township maps, and a lot of ads. OK, it ain't perfect, but there's a lot of good info.