I saw this on the FamilySearch blog – Joe Price Talks about Census Tree Project—RootsTech 2019: https://www.familysearch.org/blog/en/joe-price-census-search/.
How have you been affected by archives and libraries? Have you ever visited a museum and wondered if your own ancestors were affected by the history you see there?
Joe Price, associate professor of economics and director of the Record Linking Lab (RLL) at Brigham Young University, spoke at the Access and Preservation Day at RootsTech in 2019. His presentation was about the RLL’s census tree project and how it will create meaningful connections to the records in archives, museums, and libraries.
This is the type of connection Joe looks for in museums as well. At the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D. C., the exhibits affected him powerfully. “I was struck by the heroes,” he said. Price then asked himself, “How does this person connect with me?” As someone who works with records, he explains that “one way we can tap into a larger population is to provide those connections.” He predicted that in the future when you visit an archive or museum, you will be able to take out your phone and type in your grandparents’ information, and you’ll be directed to displays about your relatives. It will make a visit much more meaningful.
A challenge the lab is working on is linking United States census records for everyone who lived in the United States from 1850 to 1940. That is about 217 million people. The result will be one database with one profile for each person. Imagine that someone goes to Gettysburg. This person would be able to search the census tree and find a relative, which then connects to FamilySearch Family Tree. It is then possible for people to find records about their ancestors who were in the Battle of Gettysburg.