What were Mansfield and Richland County like in 1950?
You’re about to get the opportunity to find out.
Thanks to what the National Archives refers to as the “72 Year Rule,” each year that ends with a “2” brings the release of another decennial census. In this case, the 1950 census will be released to the public this April 1.
Originally, US census records were not made public. In 1978, an agreement between the Director of the Bureau of the Census and the Archivist of the United States changed that practice and set that 72 year period.
And, like the census for 1880, the 1950 census will be available at no charge and will be completely indexed so that you can easily find your parents, grandparents, or friends.
“Employees from across the agency have worked on digitizing and indexing the records and developing and testing a new, dedicated 1950 Census website,” said Project Manager Carol Lagundo, who leads the 1950 Census project at National Archives. “It’s taken innovation and creativity to keep this project on track throughout the pandemic and to continue to meet our project milestones. We hope the public will benefit from our hard work.”
The new website will include a name search function powered by an Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML) and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology tool. This is important for genealogists and other researchers who rely on census records for new information about the nation’s past.
Free access to the records will be available via the The National Archives and Records Administration as well as on Ancestry.com.
The 1950 census showed that Richland County had 90,738 inhabitants. That included 1,354 in the village of Bellville, 7,905 in the city of Shelby, and 43,363 in the city of Mansfield.
In addition to sample questions asked by many census takers, in 1950 all respondents were asked the following:
Source: National Archives