United States, Census of Merchant Seamen, 1930 (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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Access the records: United States, Census of Merchant Seamen, 1930 .
Collection Time Period
This information pertains to individuals and crew members of vessels on April 1, 1930.
The collection consists of a name index and images of the Merchant Seamen schedules from the 1930 U.S. federal census. The index is provided by Ancestry.com and corresponds to NARA publication: M1932: 1930 Census of Merchant Seamen.
The schedules consist of large sheets with rows and columns.
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 on a vessel on the census day, which was April 1 for this census. The completed forms were then sent to the Census Office of the Commerce Department in Washington, D.C.
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. Some information may have been incorrect or deliberately falsified.
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should also list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the Wiki Article: Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections.
Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection
"United States, Census of Merchant Seamen, 1930" index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org: accessed 30 September 2011). entry for Percy C Edwards, age 35; citing Census Records, FHL microfilm 2,343,412; United States Federal Archives and Records Center, Washington D.C., United States.
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.