Friday, March 16, 2007

Ancestry.com Digitizes All Readily Available Iowa State Census Records From 1836 to 1925

More Than 14 Million Records Offer Insight Into State and Family Histories
From Notable Natives, John Wayne and President Herbert Hoover, to the
Settlers of the 1830s


PROVO, Utah, March 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Ancestry.com, the world's largest online resource for family history, today announced that it has digitized and indexed all readily available Iowa State census records from 1836 to 1925. Researchers spent more than two years manually entering each name from actual early handwritten documents, bringing nearly a century of Iowa State history to life at the click of a mouse. In total, the collection features more than 14 million Iowa State census records and more than 3 million images, making Ancestry.com the first and only online source to
provide access to all publicly released Iowa State census records.


"Census records are the backbone of family history. They're more than just names and numbers. If you look closely, they tell stories," said Megan Smolenyak, Chief Family Historian for Ancestry.com. "The Iowa state census records, in particular, provide a wide range of snapshots into the lives nd lifestyles of Iowan ancestors. With these records now available online, Iowans can dig deeper into their state and family histories."

Searching for Genealogical Gold
Iowa has an exceptionally rich census repertoire, having taken censuses more frequently than any other state in America. The Iowa census collection contains more than 14 million Iowa State census records from 28 state censuses. The state conducted five complete, statewide censuses of all 99 counties and 23 partial censuses, of which all but three contain 13 counties or less. The 1925 census, widely regarded as genealogical gold, is the highlight of the collection, featuring more detail than any other censuses in Iowa or most other states. Unique information available in this
enumeration include mother's maiden name and father's full name, birthplace and year of marriage, providing invaluable insight and additional clues to help discover family history. Other data listed in Iowa census records include name, age, gender, race, marital status, place of residence, parents' names and each resident's war service and citizenship status.


"The 1925 census's depth and detail is recognized across the country as a one-of-a-kind resource which, to the best of my knowledge, can't be found anywhere else," said Theresa Liewer, President, Iowa Genealogical Society. "Although census records are available on microfilm at our library, being able to use the online indexes and access the digitized versions makes it easier to sort through millions of names and find that elusive ancestor who sometimes seems to be deliberately hiding at the click of a mouse."

Inside America's Breadbasket
The Iowa census collection provides tremendous historical insights into the state, capturing a cross-section of America's "breadbasket," from the first white settlers of 1833 to a period of German and Northern European immigration to Iowa. It also accounts for the influx of thousands of
settlers from the American Midwest and mid-Atlantic. Interestingly, Germans, Swedes, Norwegians, Danes and Dutch made up most of Iowa's immigrant population.

Famous Personalities Owed To Iowa
Iowa is the birthplace for famous 19th century Wild West figures Wyatt Earp and Buffalo Bill Cody. Big-screen cowboy, John Wayne, born Marion Morrison in May 26, 1907 in Winterset, Iowa, and Johnny Carson, former host of the Tonight Show, also hail from the Hawkeye State. Herbert Hoover, the 31st President of the United States, can be found in the 1885 state census.


Free access to the Iowa State census records collection will be available on Ancestry.com through the end of March.

About Ancestry.com
With 23,000 searchable databases and titles, Ancestry.com is the No. 1 online source for family history information. Since its launch in 1997, Ancestry.com has been the premier resource for family history, simplifying genealogical research for millions of people by providing them with many easy-to-use tools and resources to build their own unique family trees.


Ancestry.com is part of The Generations Network, Inc, a leading network of family-focused interactive properties, including MyFamily.com, Rootsweb.com, Genealogy.com, and Family Tree Maker. In total, The Generations Network properties receive 8.5 million unique visitors
worldwide and over 400 million page views a month ((C) comScore Media Metrix, January, 2007).

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