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How to Use SQLite to Batch Search Persons by Place of Residence in US census

batch SQLite census query

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#1 Bec.Z


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Posted 28 June 2017 - 07:23 PM

Hello all,


I have a name list of about 10k individuals and their place of residence. I would like to retrieve their personal information (gender, race, job, age etc.) from the US census records. 


With SQLite for RM, is there a way to do the same kind of search as on the familysearch.com or other genealogy websites, i.e. type in the name, place of residence, the record to look into (US census), and then the website will return the matched individual's information from the census? I would like to batch search for all individuals in my database.


One alternative that I have been suggested is to retrieve all individuals that live in a place from RM, and then search for the individuals that match my name list. Any suggestions on how I'd be able to do that?




#2 RobJ


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Posted 29 June 2017 - 07:42 AM

Some general comments -


* Others will know more about the SQL stuff, but SQLite tools are for searching SQL databases, and I'm not aware of any public access to census records or any general database of genealogical information as a SQL database.


* But even if it was possible, census records are notoriously inaccurate and inconsistent.  If you found a name in 5 different census records, you would also find at least 3 different ages or birth years, possibly 5 different ones, and possibly not one of them was correct!  You could try averaging them, and precede them with 'circa', but could still be off quite a bit.  I think the census takers just asked questions of whomever they first found, which could be either parent, or could be a teenager, who might get the parents ages wrong by 10 or 20 years!


* But worse yet, you are starting with only a single name!  You need every variation of their name ever used, by them or their relatives or by other parties such as census takers.  I know of individuals with a list of 10 or 12 full names possible, and not one of them do we have confidence in that it was their true full name.  They varied the name they gave out as they aged, sometimes drastically.  Plus, census takers were apparently under no obligation to get it right, and would spell it as they thought it should be, or sounded like to them.  Your chances of finding a person by only one name are very poor.


But good luck trying!  Sorry to be such a downer!