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Re: AIS

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  • Roma Hardy
    Over the years we ve used the AIS often. We ve found if a librarian has used it him/her self, they better appreciate its worth & in turn teach other
    Message 1 of 45 , Jul 11 1:00 PM
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      Over the years we've used the AIS often. We've found if a librarian has
      used it him/her self, they better appreciate its worth & in turn teach other
      librarians & patrons of its value.



      For example, if we only know our Shellman family came from New York in the
      late 1700's, this is a good source to search. By looking at this alpha
      index it's arranged in, we're able to ascertain what counties in NY that
      people of this surname lived in in 1790. Then it usually lists the twp or
      district, & includes the census page number that that entry is on That can
      be a great clue & much easier than having to check out each county for a
      trace of that surname.



      Being able to search the entire U.S. for specific names is a
      bonus.especially when it's all alpha arranged & all is clearly marked &
      subject to your further investigation.





      In using the AIS, we've discovered some points to be aware of:



      1) When searching, keep phonetics in mind. How does it "sound" & what other
      possible alternate spellings might you check under? Even names like
      Cramer/Kramer, obviously would be found in entirely different spots as would
      Schneider/Snyder/Snider, Rodes/Rhoads/Rhodes/Roads, and
      Macomber/Macumber/McComber etc.



      2) The AIS is divided into different searches, depending upon the census
      year (or in the case of Search 1, which includes tax rolls, etc of those
      early years, close to 1790).



      3) Those Searches number 9 & not all are equally useful. You should know
      Search 7 is incomplete. Instead of that search, ALWAYS look at Search 7A!



      4) Don't discount Search 8."Mortality Records". This is info taken by
      census takers regarding deaths in that household in the past year. This can
      be quite valuable.



      5) Next point...the AIS is principally a record of heads of households from
      1790-1850 Census (very little is included after that time frame, despite
      what the AIS brochure says).



      6) The accompanying brochure states the compiler had a 19% error in his
      work. I do not disagree with that, but do think possibly a good bit of that
      error was that he kept his finger on the computer entry key too long. There
      are multiple cases of repetition of an entry. For instance, in a few cases
      here & there, one finds a duplicate entry for the same named person. Once
      one is aware of this kind of error, one watches for it automatically. Easy
      to check out too since one is already going to that page number to look at
      the entry you want.



      We feel the pluses far outweigh the minuses.that this can be a valuable tool
      for many & hope if you've not investigated it yourself, you might do so with
      these imperfections in mind.



      Roma Hardy





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    • C Hugo family
      I personally have solved a copy of difficult research problems by using the index of early 1800 census as found in the AIS. It is worth using. Nancy Hugo
      Message 45 of 45 , Oct 1, 2007
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        I personally have solved a copy of difficult research problems by using
        the index of early 1800 census' as found in the AIS. It is worth
        using. Nancy Hugo
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