2010 Census Idea  

Posted by Abba-Dad in ,

I saw the great 2010 Census ad on the SuperBowl last night and that gave me a great idea. First, check out the ad:

So anyway, that got me thinking. I don't really remember filling out a census form or talking to anyone in 2000. I think I got something in the mail, but not confident that I filled it out or mailed it in. I know I will be a lot more prepared this time around in 2010.

So my idea is to save my 2010 Census info in my genealogical database. And maybe even ask all living relatives in the tree to send me a copy of their forms. This way I will be 72 years ahead of the curve. And when I eventually pass this burden on to someone else, they won't have to wait until 2082 to see who we were and what we did. I can do the same thing every decade. Imagine my great-grandson's surprise when he is handed an antique flash drive that includes every census the family has taken in the past 70 years...

If you want to know what the 10 questions that will be asked, you can check out the interactive form guide here.

My question about doing this is - is it legal? From the 2010 Census site I got the following:

Census information is protected by law, and everyone who works for the census must swear that they will never disclose any personal information. Penalties for any employee who might share that information are severe: up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. By law, the Census Bureau can’t share your information with anyone — including other federal agencies and law enforcement. Your information is safe.

But does that mean I can't share my own information or ask relatives to send me their forms? I don't think so. Obviously if it's in a genealogical database that is not properly protected, this information might leak and cause all sorts of issues for some people, but the same can be said about all the info I already have about living relatives, right?

What do you think of this idea? Isn't it a great way to get a lot of information about your current living relatives that you might already know? I didn't see any question that might seem to personal.

Let me know in the comments!

This entry was posted on Monday, February 8, 2010 at 2:07 PM and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


Great idea! As soon as I post the comment, I am going to draft an email to my (extended) family.

February 9, 2010 at 9:53 AM

I love the idea! Unfortunately, I know my extended family won't share with me. (I can't even get them to share photos for the most part.) I wish you luck though!!

February 9, 2010 at 1:44 PM

I missed this post you did! Funny as we have had such similar thoughts! I sent my family an email about this. I may handle where and how I save these very differently from the rest of my research, for protection reasons. Thanks so much for bringing me to your post! I am not sure why but the video didn't work for me.

March 4, 2010 at 10:48 AM

I think keeping copies of all family census forms is a great idea and certainly the questions aren't too personal. I don't know if the govt would have a problem with it - As you say, most of the info you already have anyway, names and birthdates for most of our living relations are already in our data, unprotected by any "law" other than our being aware of the sensitivity of it. Thanks for directing us to this post.

March 4, 2010 at 11:12 AM

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