how to find your ancestor's address in census records

How to find your Ancestor’s Address in a Census Record

Census records contain all sorts of clues about your ancestors. I had been looking at these documents for years before I realized I could find an actual address! If you’re interested in other clues you can discover or would like tips on searching for a census record, check out this post on Census Records.

And…drumroll please…here’s how you find the address of your ancestor. If you look at the far left hand column you will see your ancestor’s street name written vertically, and the number in the next column is the house number your ancestor lived in! If there is no street name, try clicking on the previous image. Enumerators went down the streets in order, so all these names you see were their neighbors.

where to find your ancestor's address on a census record

Take the city and state from the top of the record, and you can use Google Earth to find this address and see what it looks like today! With the 1910 Census being so long ago, most houses have likely been replaced, but you can use this same trick on more recent census records to see all the places your ancestors have lived. Even if the house isn’t still there, you can explore the neighborhood and see what the city is like. 

This example I’ve shown is my great great grandmother, Frances Pinkerton Helferich. They were living at 3631 Hoyt in Everett, Washington. When I put it into Google Earth, I found that her address is now this dental office.

How to find address of your ancestor in census records

It looks like this might be a newer building than what would have been built in 1910, but I can still learn a lot from using Google Earth. I can see where she lived in relation to the main waterways, which is interesting to me because this census also tells me her husband was 1st mate on a Steam Boat. He lived much further from the port than I would have thought. It seems like an awful long way to walk so I imagine they might have had a car. 

Knowing your ancestors’ address can really give a glimpse into what life might have been like for them. You can use this trick on each census record to see where your families lived throughout the years. Plus, it’s just fun! If you try this out, tag me on Instagram so I can see where your ancestors lived!


This is just one of many clues you can find in census records!