|Census Image from the U.S. 1880 Census|
I've posted an image from Ancestry.com of one of the sheets from the 1880 U.S. Census. This has been, for me, the grand daddy of all census records. The 1890 Census was lost due to a fire in the Library of Congress and the 1870 Census doesn't have the details of information the 1880 Census does.
The further back you go, the less information there is in census records, which is where other types of records, such as birth and death records from the State and/or County of residence, or records from Churches (such as christening or burial records) come into play. The older census records, do, however, give you an idea of where people were located so you know where to look for the other records.
You can tell this is a passion of mine, can't you? It has been for many, many years. :-)
Many thanks to my Family History Consultant friends for sending me this link, this will definitely be another news source for me to put on my RSS feed!
Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter