It is usually best to begin a census search in the most recently available U.S. Federal Census (1930 or 1920) and to work from what is already
known about a family ancestor. With any luck, birthplaces and other clues found in these more recent records will point to locations of earlier residency.
The U.S. Federal Census schedules are arranged by census year and thereunder alphabetically by name of state; then, with a few exceptions, alphabetically by name
of county. To begin research, a researcher must know in which state the ancestor of interest lived during the census year, and may need to know the
county and an exact address if the name is common.