A lot of key dates in a person's life are recorded in vital records (see "Sifting Through Birth, Death, Marriage, and Divorce Records," earlier in this chapter, for more details). However, unless your ancestors were consistently encountering lifeevents that resulted in numerous vital records, there will still be some gaps to fill in your research. Census records are an excellent resource in the United States for filling in these gaps. Census records are periodic counts of a population by a government or organization. These counts can be regular (such as every ten years) or special one-time counts made for a specific reason. Some censuses contain just statistical information; others contain names and additional demographic information.
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