The wiki has many helpful, free articles to help with your research. Ancestry.com has searchable indexes; database results and some digitized images are available with a fee-based subscription. This wiki is a free service of Ancestry.com.
The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy is a reference book published by Ancestry Publishing. The first edition was published in 1984 and was edited by Arlene H. Eakle and Johni Cerny. A revised edition, edited by Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking, was published in 1997. The current edition, the third, was published in 2006 and was also edited by Szucs and Luebking. In 2010, Ancestry.com digitized the content of The Source and made it available in wiki format as one of the foundational sources for the Ancestry.com Wiki. Each chapter has been broken into one or more series of articles. This wiki is a free service of Ancestry.com.
This article discusses different search techniques for head of household versus everyname indexes, including examples of well-known individuals located in 1860-1880 census indexes with these techniques.
Individual records from the US Census are a great resource for family history research. Records from 1930 and earlier are available online. But records from more recent censuses are available as well, directly from the Census Bureau. Find out how to take advantage of this little-known opportunity.