I recently read a blogger's lament: I wish I could browse the U. S. Census on FamilySearch. You can browse (some) U. S. Census records on FamilySearch. Here's how.
These instructions begin with the assumption that you know how to find the list of census records on FamilySearch. They also assume that you're searching for a specific surname in a specific county and state. If you don't have a surname in mind and just want to get to a particular locality, use any common surname such as Smith or Jones or Miller to begin.
1) Choose the census year.
2) Type in the surname but omit the first name. Add the location (county and state) in the Residence Place box. You don't need any other information if you want to browse.
3) ▼ Click on the blue "Search" box.
4) When the results appear click on the name of an individual. It doesn't matter which name: any name will do if your intention is to browse.
5) Click "View the document" in the box to the right.
Important Note: If the message in the box tells you that this is an Ancestry.com image, you won't be able to browse those census images in FamilySearch.
6) When the census image appears, you'll notice that above the black bar are clickable links in blue letters. Click the county.
7) The E.D. districts will appear for the county. Click whichever Enumeration District you'd like to view.
8) The images for the E.D. will appear beginning with image 1. You can move from page to page by clicking the arrow to the right of the number box above the black bar.
9) If you want to look at a different county in the same state, click on the state (located above the black bar). ↓ A list of counties will appear. Click the name of county you'd like to browse.
10) After you've reached the county click on the E.D. you'd like to browse.
You can also choose a different state by clicking on "United States Census, [year]" above the black bar.
If you want to change census years you'll need to go back to FamilySearch's list of U.S. census records.
Important Note: The option to browse is available only for census records that are provided from FamilySearch. Records shared from Ancestry.com and available on FamilySearch are not browsable. Browsing may not be available on all U.S. Census Records. (I didn't test them all.)
Copyright © 2014 Nancy Messier. All Rights Reserved.