State censuses are invaluable to genealogists because they fill in gaps left by missing federal censuses. For example, 12 states conducted censuses between 1885 and 1895, any one of which can substitute for that state's missing 1890 federal census. State censuses tend to be opened to the public faster than federal ones; some state censuses taken as recently as 1945 are already available. Many state censuses contain information not found in federal censuses because the census takers asked different questions. For all of these reasons, state censuses can give you a more complete picture of your ancestors and solve genealogical problems. To find out what state censuses exist, what kinds of information they contain, and where they can be found, read State Census Records, by Ann Lainhart, the definitive guide to this major, though vastly under-used, genealogical resource.
The Glenview Library owns State Census Records by Ann Lainhart, find it at 929.373 LAI
(THANK YOU! to Clearfield Publishing for use of this book review.)