Thursday, March 26, 2009's Great Depression Collection - Post 2: The 1930 US Census

In Post 1: First Views, I discussed the new Great Depression collection. The centerpiece of this collection is the 1930 United States Census. I did a little searching for my "peeps" in the 1930 census today to see how easy it was to search and navigate.

I put my father's name in the Search box on the 1930 census screen:

There were only 3 matches for the exact name I input. When I ran the mouse over something, a big black box appeared in the center of the screen (when I came back to this page a minute ago, the box didn't pop up, I wonder if it happens for only the first time a user accesses the 1930 census?):

The box tells you that you can narrow your search by selecting one of the items in the left-hand sidebar - the items are first name, age, place, county, ED, state, estimated birth year, family number and sheet number.

There were three matches on the page. The second one was my father, at age 18 living with his family in Leominster, Worcester, Massachusetts. I clicked on his name:

The census page appears in the frame - you can use the scroll bar to see more of the page. You can run your mouse over the page and see the indexed name and a "More Info" link. If you carefully click on the "More Info" link, you can see all of the indexed information for the person in a popup box:

In this case, the indexed information in the popup box included the name, the family number, the age, and the estimated birth year. On the right side of the popup box is the "What's been added" area with links for "View Person Page," "Add an Image," "Add a Comment," "Add a Story," and "Add a Related Person Page."

In the right-hand sidebar is the source citation. For this census image it includes:

"Publication Number: T626
Publication Title: Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930
Content Source: NARA
Census Year: 1930
State: Massachusetts
Browse Description: LEOMINSTER CITY, WARD 5
Enumeration District: 14-226
Sheet Number: 3a"

Not only are all of the source citation elements provided, but the boundaries of the Enumeration district are provided.

After this morning's post, I went back into to see if the really wild "wild card" worked for every database and not just for the 1930 US Census. It appears that it does. That is really good news for desperate researchers who cannot find their families in the census records. I'm going to look for the elusive Robert Leroy Thompson using the really wild "wild cards."

In the next post, I will explore the Footnote Page created from the 1930 US Census database, and try to connect this image to the Footnote Page that I previously created for my father from the SSDI Footnote Page back in September.

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