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Decennial Census Manuscript Resources

Last Updated: 21-Mar-2013

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This guide provides information and resources to aid in the use of the Decennial Census Manuscripts also known as the Enumerator Notebooks or Census Records.  It was created on February 4, 2013 to accompany a talk given by Dr. Joel Weintraub titled: "I found grandma...in the 1940 Census!".

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Video and presentation slides

Definitions

Schedules vs. Publications

Population Schedules

The Census notebooks that Census Marshalls or Enumerators use to record individuals information.  These are the basis for the aggregate numbers in the Census Publications

 Publications

Publications contain tables by geography – no individual’s information is available here!  If the population of a place, town, civil division, etc. is too small, you might only be able to get a total of the population ONLY.

Key Background Resources

Essential titles for Understanding the Census

Anderson, M. J. (2000). Encyclopedia of the U.S. Census. Washington, DC: CQ Press.  For Location and Call Number: http://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/4372798

 

"Archival Access to Census Data." In Encyclopedia of the U.S. Census, 2nd ed., edited by Margo J. Anderson, Constance F. Citro, and Joseph J. Salvo. Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2012. http://library.cqpress.com/census/encyusc_58.1.

 

Blake, K. (1996, Spring). “First in the Path of the Firemen” The Fate of the 1890 Census of Population, Part 1. Prologue Magazine. Retrieved April 13, 2012, from http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/1996/spring/1890-census-1.html

 

IPUMS USA: Enumeration Forms. (n.d.). Retrieved April 16, 2012, from http://usa.ipums.org/usa/voliii/tEnumForm.shtml

 

Measuring America: The Decennial Censuses From 1790 to 2000. (n.d.). Retrieved April 13, 2012, from http://www.census.gov/prod/2002pubs/pol02marv.pdf

 

U.S. Census Bureau. “Census Records History”, n.d. http://www.census.gov/history/www/genealogy/decennial_census_records/census_records_2.html.

Data on Microfilm

Population Schedules on Microfilm

 

United States. Bureau of the Census. (196AD). Population schedules of the tenth census of the United States, 1880, California. Washington : National Archives and Records Service, http://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/5582266

 

United States. Bureau of the Census. (1965). Population schedules of the 9th census of the United States, 1870, California. Washington : National Archives and Records Service, http://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/5582172

United States. Bureau of the Census. (1967). Population schedules of the 8th census of the United States, 1860, California. Washington : National Archives and Records Service, http://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/5576334

 

United States. Bureau of the Census. (1978). Population schedules of the twelfth census of the United States, 1900, California. Washington : National Archives and Records Service, http://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/5584701

 

United States. Bureau of the Census. (197AD). Population schedules of the thirteenth census of the United States, 1910, California. Washington : National Archives and Records Service, http://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/1563146

Data Online

Population Schedules Online

*NOTE: Stanford does not have access to the Ancestry.com library; it is available at the Palo Alto Public Library. The resources listed below are all freely available.

 Steve Morse.org http://stevemorse.org/#us

This website contains invaluable tools for understanding and accessing the Decennial Manuscripts/Enumerator’s notebooks.  There are enumeration districts conversion tools for the 1920-1930-1940 Census, one step guides for searching the 1940 Census Manuscripts, etc.

 

United States Census, 1790 to 1940: Free Texts: Download & Streaming: Internet Archive. (n.d.). Retrieved April 14, 2012, from http://archive.org/details/us_census

  1. Select the Decennial Year you want
  2. Select the state, e.g. California
  3. This will take you pages with the county volumes; read through the list and select the volumes for the county you need. 
  4. Read the volume and page notes, as they do provide some guidance as to which pages the cities start on.

 

Family Search.org https://familysearch.org/collection/list#page=1&recordType=Census

Enumeration Districts

Enumeration District Resources

The process of collecting census data “in the field” is called enumeration.  Enumeration districts are the geographical areas that census enumerators use to collect the data. See: http://www.1940census.net/what_is_an_enumeration_district.php

Steve Morse.org http://stevemorse.org/#us

National Archves. “1940 Census Finding Aids”, n.d. http://www.archives.gov/research/census/1940/finding-aids.html.

Prechtel-Kluskens, Claire. Enumeration District Maps for the Twelfth Through Sixteenth Censuses of the United States, 1900-1940. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 195.  http://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/7508640

Urban Transition Historical GIS Project: Historic enumeration district- and other mapping resources and data from historic US censuses of US cities from the end of the 19th century into the early 20th century.

Citing the Sources

Citing Population Schedules

Basic citations:

From the Internet Archive

United States. Bureau of the Census. (1967). Population schedules of the 8th census of the United States, 1860, California, Alameda County. Washington : National Archives and Records Service. Retrieved [date], from http://archive.org/stream/13thcensus1910po0070unit#page/n17/mode/2up

 

From the Microfilm

United States. Bureau of the Census. (1967). Population schedules of the 8th census of the United States, 1860, California, Alameda County. Washington : National Archives and Records Service.