Communities between Census Decades


What happened in your community between census decades? What primary sources can you use to understand the growth of a town, urban area, or even the disappearance of agricultural land? Two important primary sources are the census and city directories. Other local public records include tax duplicates, land records, tax maps and aerial surveys. Starting with the census as a skeleton, city directories provide a yearly bone structure, with the remaining primary sources fleshing out a community to analyze growth and change over time.


  • Locate census records for urban and rural areas, particularly 1790-1940 population.
  • Analyze census records
  • Utilize city directories to co-ordinate with census data
  • Corroborate census and city directory information with other public records


  • Historians teaching local history and public history; Librarians and archivists, genealogists and local historians


  • This hour long hands-on workshop can be expanded to include more resources upon request.
  • Attendees with receive sample records from census records, city directories and other public records.

More Information


Miriam Kahn, MLS, MA, PhD – historian, researcher, and librarian at large


Miriam Kahn, MLS, MA, PhD is a freelance researcher in genealogy and local history. She has been to almost every courthouse in Ohio researching land records and other public records. Kahn has been teaching genealogy and local history for librarians and family historians since 1992 and is an expert on public records.

Technology requirements:

  • Computer with projector
  • If internet access is available, computers for all attendees