United States, Census of Merchant Seamen, 1930 (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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Collection Time Period
The U.S. federal census was conducted each decade from 1790 to the present. This information pertains to the census conducted in 1930.
Population schedules consist of large sheets with rows and columns. The schedules are arranged by state, county, place, and enumeration district. The districts are not always filed in sequential order. The arrangement of families on a schedule is usually in the order in which the enumerator visited the households.
The following chart lists states with registered vessels which are listed in this census:
|Minnesota||New Hampshire||New Jersey||New York|
The 1930 census includes the following genealogical information:
- Full name
- Age (can be used to calculate an approximate birth year)
- Marital status (single, married, widowed, or divorced)
- Able to read and write
- Naturalized citizen or alien
- If able to speak English
- Whether a military veteran
- Address of spouse or next of kin
How to Use the Record
Begin your search by finding your ancestors in the census index. Use the locator information in the index (such as page number) to locate your ancestors in the census. Compare the information in the census to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information of more than one family or person to make this determination. Be aware that as with any index, transcription errors may occur.
When you have located your ancestor in the census, carefully evaluate each piece of information about them. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. For example:
- Use the age listed to determine an approximate birth date. This date along with the place of birth can help you find a birth record. Birth records often list biographical and marital details about the parents and close relatives other than the immediate family.
- Birth places can tell you former residences and can help to establish a migration pattern for the family.
- Use the race information to find records related to that ethnicity such as records of the Freedman’s Bureau or Indian censuses.
- Use the naturalization information to find their naturalization papers in the county court records. It can also help you locate immigration records such as a passenger list which would usually be kept records at the port of entry into the United States.
- Occupations listed can lead you to employment records.
- Address of spouse or next of kin can help you locate additional census records about the family.
- Owner or operator of the vessel and address
Federal census takers were asked to record information about all those who were in a household on the census day, which was June 1 for the 1930 census. A census taker might have visited a house on a later date, but the information collected was supposed to have been about the people who were in the residence on the census day. The basic census enumeration unit was the county. Each county was divided into enumeration districts, one for each enumerator. The completed forms were then sent to the Census Office of the Commerce Department in Washington, D.C. The 1930 census covers 95 to 97 percent of the population.
Why This Record Was Created
The U.S. federal census has been taken at the beginning of every decade, beginning in 1790, to apportion the number of representatives a state could send to the House of Representatives. In the absence of a national system of vital registration, many vital statistics and personal questions were asked to provide a statistical profile of the nation and its states.
Federal censuses are usually reliable, depending on the knowledge of the informant and the care taken by the census enumerator. Realize that any family member or even a neighbor may have supplied information to the census taker. Some information may have been incorrect or deliberately falsified.
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
It is recommended that you cite the sources of information as you search genealogical records. Citing sources will allow you to avoid duplicate searches later and share your sources with other researchers. A citation with specific details about the source document should allow yourself or others to easily find the source document at a later time. You should cite all sources searched, whether new information is found, to avoid duplicating searches without findings.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched in found in the Wiki Article: How to Create Source Citations for FamilySearch Historical Records Collections
Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection
- United States. Bureau of the Census. 12th census, 1900, digital images, From FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: September 29, 2006), Arizona Territory, Maricopa, Township 1, East Gila, Salt River Base and Meridian; sheet 9B, line 71
- Mexico, Distrito Federal, Catholic Church Records, 1886-1933, digital images, from FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: April 22, 2010), Baptism of Adolfo Fernandez Jimenez, 1 Feb. 1910, San Pedro Apóstol, Cuahimalpa, Distrito Federal, Mexico, film number 0227023
Sources of Information for This Collection
“United States, Census of Merchant Seamen, 1930” index and images, FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org); from National Archives. NARA M1932. United States Federal Archives and Records Center, Washington D.C. FHL microfilm. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.