Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Tuesday's Tip: Use the 1910 United States Federal Census

The record collection for the 1910 United States Federal Census is one of my favorite record collections.  It is available in digital format online at:

*  Ancestry.com ($$) - 93,627,758 entries

*  MyHeritage.com ($$) - 92,639,466 entries

 Findmypast.com (Free) - 92,346,576 entries

*  FamilySearch.org (Free) - 93,758,701 entries

The official population count of the United States in 1910 was 92,228,496.

I have no idea why the number of entries are different at each provider.  Perhaps it is because some providers permit an alternate user-provided index entry for enumerated persons.

The description of the 1910 United States Federal Census collection on Ancestry.com says:
This database is an every name index to individuals enumerated in the 1910 United States Federal Census, the Thirteenth Census of the United States. In addition, the names of those listed on the population schedule are linked to actual images of the 1910 Federal Census, copied from the National Archives and Records Administration microfilm, T624, 1,784 rolls. (If you do not initially find the name on the page that you are linked to, try a few pages forward or backward, as sometimes different pages had the same page number.)
This new index (released June 2006) maintains the old head of household index and adds to it a new every name index (including a re-keying of the heads of households). As a result, for many heads of households you will see two names - a primary, and an alternate. The primary name is the newly keyed name. The alternate name is the name as it appeared in the original head of household only index. Alternate names are only displayed when there is a difference in the way the name was keyed between the two indexes. By making both names available to researchers, the likelihood of your being able to find your head of household ancestor has increased. Likewise, researchers who were once able to find their head of household ancestor under a particular spelling will still be able to easily find that ancestor.
What Areas are Included:
The 1910 census includes all fifty U.S. states and Washington D.C., as well as Military and Naval Forces, and Puerto Rico.
Why Census Records are Important:
Few, if any, records reveal as many details about individuals and families as do the U.S. federal censuses. The population schedules are successive "snapshots" of Americans that depict where and how they were living at particular periods in the past. Because of this, the census is often the best starting point for genealogical research after home sources have been exhausted.
Some Enumerator Instructions:
The 1910 Census was begun on 15 April 1910. The actual date of the enumeration appears on the heading of each page of the census schedule, but all responses were to reflect the individual's status as of 15 April, even if the status had changed between 15 April and the day of enumeration. For example, children born between 15 April and the day of enumeration were not to be listed, while individuals alive on 15 April but deceased when the enumerator arrived were to be counted.
The following questions were asked by enumerators:
  • Name of street, avenue road, etc.
  • House number or farm
  • Number of dwelling in order of visitation
  • Number of family in order of visitation
Name and Relation:
  • Name of each person whose place of abode was with the family
  • Relationship of person enumerated to the head of the family
Personal Description:
  • Sex
  • Color or race
  • Age at last birthday
  • Marital status - whether single, married, widowed, or divorced
  • If married, number of years of present marriage
  • For mothers, number of total children born and number of children living
  • Place of birth
  • Father's place of birth
  • Mother's place of birth
  • Year of immigration to United States
  • Whether naturalized or alien
  • Whether able to speak English; or if not, language spoken
  • Trade, profession, or particular kind of work done
  • Industry, business, or establishment in which at work
  • Whether employer, employee, or working on own account
  • If an employee, whether out of work on 15 April 1910 and number of weeks out of work during 1909
  • Whether able to read
  • Whether able to write
  • Whether attended school any time since 1 September 1909
Ownership of Home:
  • Owned or Rented
  • Owned free or mortgaged
  • Farm or house
  • Number of farm schedule (applies only to farm homes)
  • Whether a survivor of the Union or Confederate Army or Navy
  • Whether blind (both eyes)
  • Whether deaf and dumb
There were separate Indian population schedules for 1910 in which the tribe and/or band was also recorded.
Here is an example from the MyHeritage census for a search for one person (three screens below):

I searched each record provider for some of my exact surnames of interest.  The results are:

*  Seaver               2123 (on Ancestry)
                              1816 (on MyHeritage)
                              1807 (on Findmypast)
                              1813 (on Family Search)

*  Carringer             276 (on Ancestry)
                                119 (on MyHeritage)
                                119 (on Findmypast)
                                118 (on Family Search)

*  Auble                  403 (on Ancestry)
                                363 (on MyHeritage)
                                363 (on Findmypast)
                                363 (on Family Search)

*  Vaux                    303  (on Ancestry)
                                269 (on MyHeritage)
                                269 (on Findmypast)
                                233 (on Family Search) 

*  Smith         1,037,869 (on Ancestry)
1,011,185 (on MyHeritage)
1,009,881 (on Findmypast)
                       1,010,285 (on Family Search)

FamilySearch, MyHeritage and Findmypast have almost the same number of entries for each surname except Smith - I think FamilySearch provided the index and images for this collection to Findmypast and MyHeritage.

Ancestry,com and FamilySearch created separate census indexes using paid and/or volunteer indexers.  The differences in numbers between providers for a specific surname is probably due to some of the providers permitting a user-submitted addition to the index.

It is important to understand what this collection represents and includes.  This collection is paper records created by the U.S. Census Bureau in 1910, copied to microfilm and provided in digital format at some time to the digital record providers for a fee.  The record providers then used paid or volunteer indexers to create the different indexes.

These records are Original Source records, with Primary Information (state, county, town address) and Secondary Information (for everything else), and Indirect Evidence of the person's name, age, and other items.

I use this database extensively to find my ancestors, my relatives, and other persons in my family tree.  I usually download the record image to my computer for my ancestors, summarize the information for each person in the household, and enter a Census event for the household, with the official census date, the census place, and craft a source citation.  I add a Note for each person with the location, date, and household summary information, and add a Media item for each person in the household of my ancestral families.

For those interested in mining this record collection for Hints of persons in their Ancestry Member Tree, the Ancestry.com database number is 7884.  Currently, I have over 3,940 Hints for persons in my Ancestry Member Tree who are indexed in this record collection.  I work on them occasionally, adding content and source citations to profiles in my RootsMagic family tree.  Of course, I have some accepted Hints from this collection already in my RootsMagic family tree and my Ancestry Member Tree, but not many.

I have not attached many MyHeritage Hints to my MyHeritage tree, which is now a year out of date.  On MyHeritage, I have 2,561 pending Record Matches for persons in my MyHeritage tree.


NOTE:  Tuesday's Tips is a genealogy blog meme intended to provide information about a resource helpful to genealogists and family historians, especially in the U.S. online genea-world.

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1 comment:

Marshall said...

My favorite part of the 1910 (and 1900) census is the columns for "# of children" and "# of children still living".

That has caused me *many* "Whoa - there are more kids here!" moments in my research.