When I search for individuals I know should have been in census records that were available before (1920, 1930, 1940), no records come up. Is there a way to get around this problem?
@PennyAllen Can you please give us the specifics so that we can try to replicate the problem. How are you searching...general search?....collection? And what search terms are you entering. What message do you get in the results? Thank you.
From the home page, I click "Records" in the top bar and then put in a name that I know I've found in census records before in the search function on the right side of the screen. All the records that come up are birth and death records--no census records anymore. I encountered this problem when I was trying to help an older gentleman who isn't computer savvy to search and came up with no records. Then, I tried it on family members I know I have found in census records on your site in the past, and nothing but birth and death records.
To get better results try to vary your inputs. If you make a general search (rather than searching from the census collection page - e.g. using https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/1810731), then I would search on "Residence" then input the state in the Residence Place field. Be fairly broad in the Birth Year range, as the age recorded in the census could be some way adrift of the actual age. After that, click on "Collection" (top left of the Results page) and filter on any relevant collections - e.g., if results from the US 1920, 1930 & 1940 census are included, check (tick) them, then "Apply Collection Filter".
This should help narrow down the results you want, but maybe it would be easier to carry out separate searches based on each census collection, as illustrated in using the link shown above.
This link provides a typical example of how I make my inputs in such searches and the subsequent results returned: