Genealogists – What do they WANT??!! We want it ALL. We want it for FREE. We want it NOW. Must be PERFECT EASY Endless amounts of time discussing my family with you. Gripped with interest… “Gimmee, take me, bring me, buy me galaxy.” Our Ancestors, ourselves (1940/1930/1920) Told to go to local public library for help Newbies Our job to educate/set expectations
Crash Course in Understanding the Census Goals: Understand importance to genealogists Why census is a clue not a fact Inherent problems Reference resources
Purpose of the Federal Census• Equal representation in government• First bicameralist government – 17th Century England• Bicameral: Latin: bi=two; camera=chamber• Two chambers of Parliament• Two chambers of the legislature (Senate/House)• Senate same regardless of size• Count population for representation in the House• Large states disproportionate representation
Problem #1 Locating people can be difficult Boundary Changes: State/Territory County Town May be looking in the wrong place Dollarhide, William and Thorndale, William, Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790- 1920, Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2011. Reprint.
Problem #2 Boundary Changes (Problem #1) Lack of printed forms until 1830 in most areas Printed forms are illegible when filmed Recommend using a printed form Forms available for free Ancestry.com FamilyTreeMagazine.com
1790 federal census, population schedule - Massachusetts
1790 federal census, population schedule – New Hampshire
Problem #3 Boundary Changes (Problem #1) Lack of printed forms until 1830 (Problem #2) Handwriting is not 21st century Because. it’s. NOT. 21st century.
Handwriting Resource & Tips Kip Sperry’s Reading Early American Handwriting, Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co. 2008 Look for legible names on the same sheet/same enumerator Look for neighbors in other censuses Search for children/spouse
Recap Boundary changes (1) Lack of printed forms/illegible (2) Handwriting is illegible/unusual (3) Amazing that anyone is found…ever
Francis Marion Bobo 1852-1931 8/23/1860 Francis M, 8 y.o. (b.c. 1852) 7/14/1870 Francis M, 18 y.o. (b.c. 1852) 6/17/1880 M, 25 y.o. (b.c. 1855) Matilda, 22 y.o., (b.c. 1858) 6/1/1900 Frank M, 48 y.o. (b.c. 1852) Matilda, 43 y.o., (b.c. 1857) 6/1/1910 Frances M, 63 y.o. (b.c. 1847) Aged 15 years in 10. Matilda, 53 y.o. (b.c. 1857) 1/22/1920 Francis Maron, 63 y.o. (b.c. 1857) No age change Matilda, 53 y.o. (b.c. 1867) no age change 4/17/1930 Marion, 78 y.o., (b.c. 1852) Tilda, 74 y.o., (b.c. 1856) Aged 21 years in 10
Problem #5 You don’t read the whole page Miss family connections Infant baptism – sponsors/godparents Family Married daughters Never crop a census page!
Problem #6 Incomplete Weird Left off people who were there Put in people who weren’t Important to know what enumerators were told on how to interpret information! Google: “Measuring America” http://www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/ma.html
Examples• Census law did not give a definition of “place of abode”• Some persons reported in two places• Some not at all• Left to the judgement of the enumerator• “Seafaring men are to be reported at their land homes, no matter how long they may have been absent, if they are supposed to be still alive.”• “…sailors temporarily at a sailors’ boarding or lodging house, if they acknowledge any other home within the United States, are not to be included in the family of the lodging or boarding house.”
More Oddities• RE: # children born/living• In 1900 & 1910: mothers asked # of children born and # living• Does NOT include stillborn children• If you have gaps – check it out• RE: Birthplaces• Canada English vs Canada French• Not language - DESCENT
Conclusion Census research is rife with issues There are reference resources that can help Hard work 1940 will be worse (for awhile) 1930 – 2 years to index 1940 – 6-18 months
1940 census patron prep work/info List of relatives/ancestors Pinpoint residences Identify the Enumeration District in 1940 Only 1940census.archives.gov on April 2nd NARA embargoed images for first release Ancestry.com; Archives.com, Censusrecords.com, FamilySearch.org , MyHeritage.com companies: (myheritage.com, worldvitalrecords.com and familylink.com)
1940 census – so what. First time – almost everyone will have a family member alive in 1940. Find themselves in the census. Track people moving due to Great Depression Ethnic group migration Occupational group migration Historical context – where did they go? Brickwall What you know now – backwards Where did they live in 1935?? Pseudo-interim census
1940 Census issues THERE. IS. NO. NAME. INDEX. Won’t be one for 6-18 months. Arranged by state, county, enumeration district (ED). Enumeration district number = county-city/rural area (usually alphabetical) Large cities filed at the end (not alphabetical) Browse by ED to find anyone. Translate ED 1930 to ED 1940 How??
What’s in your collection? City directories Vital records Newspapers Town/county histories Compiled genealogies Any information that links people to a place in time (1940) Diaries Employment Records Letters School/Church Records Scrapbooks
How does your library go? Electronic resources? Ancestry.com No good for initial 1940 census images Good for locating 1930 census locations (every name index) City directories World War II Draft Registrations Occurred in first half of 1940, address is likely to be where family lived in 1940 HeritageQuest.com No good for 1940 census images 1930 census locations (better index than Ancestry.com) Historical books Database computers with no internet (no good for census images) Public internet access – good for SteveMorse.org Public internet access – bad for FamilySearch Indexing
How?? Make a list of relatives GCP GEDCOM (like text file for GCP) LegacyFamilyTree.com (free) Report on who to look for Form by hand
Enumeration District What? Amount of territory that an enumerator (census taker) could cover in a “set period of time” Rural – one month Urban – two weeks Two numbers: 31-1518 First part: county prefix (usually alphabetical) Second part: district number 1930 and 1940 may NOT be the same for the same location
Where did they live? 1930 Census location Browse 1940 Census enumeration district (ED) 80-120 pages PER ED for almost ALL EDs Boston had 771 in 1940 = 61,680 pages Derry had 5 = 400 pages There has to be a better way… There is.
ED 13-447Kirby Family3 Channel Street, Boston, Mass.
Indexing with FamilySearch.org Must make an account with FamilySearch LDS Non-LDS Must download the indexing program Can start a group indexing project (Derry has one) Very easy Excellent user interface (UI)