The new site will let customers search all US census records from 1790 to 1930 and is the first dedicated to US genealogy by British-owned brightsolid. It will also house the 1940 US census records, when they are released later this year.
What makes it unique to the market, however, is it's the first genealogy site in the US to give customers access to census records on either a pay-as-you-go basis or via the subscription model that is currently the only choice offered by other sites.
"In short, censusrecords.com offers greater choice, flexibility and affordability", says Chris van der Kuyl, CEO of brightsolid, announcing the site's launch at RootsTech 2012 in Salt Lake City. "Those researching their family histories will now be able to choose which payment method best suits their needs and their budget."
The new site is being launched as an early beta version, with brightsolid inviting user feedback and suggestions.
"We want to build on what we have and make it even better" says Joshua Taylor, brightsolid's business development manager. "So, we're asking site visitors to fill out the feedback form and we'll be taking on board their comments as the site evolves."
Every visitor to censusrecords.com will be able to search for free. Customers wanting to view documents, and download them to their computer to keep and access later, will then have the option of either buying a subscription in the conventional way or buying pay-as-you-go credits, starting at $7.95. Pay-as-you-go customers will be able to buy further credits at any time, giving them the freedom to spend as much or as little time and money on their research as they want.
Taken every ten years from 1790 to the present, the US census provides an historical record of the entire US population. "It is America's largest record set for family history and genealogy", says Taylor. "Our new site brings this vast resource to you online from the comfort of your home."
"The launch of censusrecords.com is just our first offering to the US market", says van der Kuyl. "It will be followed later this year by the launch of findmypast.com, which will be our flagship American brand."
"We know that there is a global demand in family history for the sort of accurate data, innovative search and customer focus that we're known for providing. Indeed, we've already seen significant international demand for our existing findmypast sites, in the UK, Ireland and Australia. We are excited about the big year we have ahead as we look to provide fresh choice and value to Americans interested in researching their family history."
It is proud to be part of the 1940 US Census Community Project, a joint initiative with Archives.com, FamilySearch and other leading genealogy organizations, which aims to make the census searchable as quickly as possible after its release this April. The completion of the project will allow anyone to search for their ancestors in the 1940 census for free online.
"We have a strong reputation for putting great focus on accurate data for easy search", says van der Kuyl. "Because of this emphasis you can find ancestors you might miss on other sites."