Prepare a census timeline before you begin. Review what you will find in the census you are searching. Work backwards from the most recent census. Expect spelling and age variations.
A person who dies "intestate" dies without a will.
Know your relationships: An ancestor is a person from whom you are descended. A descendant is a person who is descended from an ancestor. A relative is someone with whom you share a common ancestor but who is not in your direct line.
Look for genealogy and history materials at scholar.google.com.
Tax records, jury and militia records are indicators of a person's residence.