Friday, December 19, 2008

New Florida Census Collection Online

PROVO, Utah, Dec. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- According to historical documents available as part of's new Florida State Census Collection, actress Faye Dunaway, famous for her performances in "Bonnie and Clyde" and "Mommie Dearest," was a four-year-old living with her parents and brother in Florida in 1945 and NASCAR co-founder William France, Sr., was already in the car business by 1935, listed as a mechanic living in Daytona. Now others with Florida roots can make discoveries about their own relatives., the world's largest online resource for family history, has digitized and indexed the 1867, 1875, 1935 and 1945 Florida state censuses, which contain more than 3.8 million names and 75,000 original images. This is the first time these censuses have been indexed, making the information easily available and searchable online.

Florida is one of only two U.S. states (South Dakota is the other) to have completed a census as recently as 1945, which means many Floridians can potentially find their parents -- or even themselves -- while searching the collection and building their family tree. Using powerful search tools, users can easily discover the name, address, place of birth, level of education and occupation of family members and others living in the same household, as well as locate and view digital images of the original census documents handwritten decades ago.

"With the addition of our new Florida State Census Collection, never-before-discovered family histories will be found at the click of a mouse," said Gary Gibb, vice president of U.S. content for "Censuses are one of the best resources for tracing your family history and is adding the 1945, 1935, 1875 and 1867 Florida state censuses to the largest and most complete census collections available on the Web."

Some famous Floridians found in the Florida State Census Collection include:

-- Faye Dunaway -- Four-year-old Faye Dunaway is found in the 1945 Florida census along with her younger brother, Mack, and their parents. According to the census, her father, John, was serving in the Army, while her mother was involved in "defense work."

-- Janet Reno -- This former U.S. Attorney General is found as a 6-year-old in the 1945 census living in Dade County with her father, Henry, who was working as a reporter.

-- Edith Ringling -- Edith Ringling, wife of Ringling Bros. circus founder Charles Ringling, is the only family member noted to be living at the Ringling Estate during the 1945 Florida census and her occupation is listed as circus proprietor.

-- William France, Sr. -- NASCAR co-founder William France, Sr., was already in the car business at 25 years old. The 1935 Florida census lists him as a mechanic in Daytona.

-- Abraham Lincoln Lewis -- Florida's first African-American billionaire and his wife are found in the 1945 Florida census, retired and living in Jacksonville, Florida. also offers a wide expanse of other Florida historical records, including the 1885 Florida State Census, a Florida Marriage Collection (1822-1875 and 1927-2001), the Florida Death Index (1877-1998), Florida Passenger Lists (1898-1951) and Florida Land Records.

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