United States Census, 1920 (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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{{Record_Search_article|CID=CID1488411 |title=United States Census, 1920|location=United States}}<br>
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{{Record_Search_article|CID=CID1488411 |title=United States Census, 1920|location=United States}}<br>  
  
 
== Record Description  ==
 
== Record Description  ==
  
Federal censuses are usually reliable, depending on the knowledge of the informant and the care of the census enumerator. Information may have been given to a census taker by any member of the family or by a neighbor. Some information may have been incorrect or deliberately falsified.
+
The collection consists of an index of population schedules listing inhabitants of the United States in 1920. This was the fourteenth census conducted since 1790. There were 107.5 million individuals enumerated this census year. The index was created by FamilySearch and Ancestry.com.  
 
+
Federal census takers were asked to record information about all those who were in each household on the census day, which was 1 January for the 1920 census. A census taker might have visited a house on a later date, but the information he collected was supposed to be about the people who were in the house 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 sent to the Census Office in the Commerce Department in Washington D.C.&nbsp;The 1920 census covers 95-97% of the population.&nbsp;&nbsp;
+
 
+
The U.S. federal census was conducted each decade from 1790 to the present. This information pertains to the census conducted in 1920.
+
 
+
The U.S. federal census was taken at the beginning of every decade, beginning in 1790, to apportion the number of representatives that a state could send to the House of Representatives in Congress. 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.&nbsp;
+
 
+
Federal censuses are usually reliable, depending on the knowledge of the informant and the care of the census enumerator. Information may have been given to a census taker by any member of the family or by a neighbor.  
+
 
+
Some information may have been incorrect or deliberately falsified.&nbsp;
+
  
 
=== Citation for This Collection  ===
 
=== Citation for This Collection  ===
Line 19: Line 9:
 
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org. Source citations include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.  
 
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org. Source citations include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.  
  
{{Collection citation| text = <!--bibdescbegin-->Bureau of the Census. "Population Schedules for the 1920 Census." NARA microfilm publication T625. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. : n.d. <!--bibdescend-->}}  
+
{{Collection citation | text= "United States Census, 1920." Index. <i>FamilySearch</i>. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. NARA microfilm publication T625. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. : n.d. <!--bibdescend-->}}  
  
 
[[United States Census Population Schedules 1920 (FamilySearch Historical Records)#Citation_Example_for_a_Record_Found_in_This_Collection|Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.]]  
 
[[United States Census Population Schedules 1920 (FamilySearch Historical Records)#Citation_Example_for_a_Record_Found_in_This_Collection|Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.]]  
  
 
== Record Content  ==
 
== Record Content  ==
 +
 +
<gallery widths="160px" heights="120px" perrow="3">
 +
Image:1920 United States Census.jpg|1920 United States Census
 +
</gallery>
  
 
Important genealogical information in the 1920 census:  
 
Important genealogical information in the 1920 census:  
  
[[Image:1920 United States Census.jpg|thumb|right|1920 United States Census.jpg]]
+
*State, county, township, town/city, precinct and enumeration district
 
+
*Date census was taken (information given based on a 1 January 1920 date)
*Full name  
+
*Street name and house number
 +
*Name of head of household
 +
*Names of all members of household
 +
*Relationship to head of household
 +
*Gender
 
*Race  
 
*Race  
*Sex
 
 
*Age (can be used to calculate the approximate birth year)  
 
*Age (can be used to calculate the approximate birth year)  
*Relationship to the head of household
+
*Marital status (single, married, widowed or divorced)
*Whether single, married, widowed, or divorced  
+
*Immigrant or naturalized citizen
*Birthplace and birthplace of the father and mother (whether or not the parents were members of the household)
+
*Date of naturalization
*Year of immigration
+
*Whether attended school or not
*Whether a naturalized citizen
+
*Able to read and write?
*Year of naturalization
+
*Birthplace of each member
*Occupation
+
*Language spoken  
*Native tongue spoken and that of the father and mother (whether or not the parents were members of the household)
+
*Father's birthplace
*Whether can speak English
+
*Mother's birthplace
*Street address and house number
+
*Occupation
  
 
== How to Use the Records  ==
 
== How to Use the Records  ==
  
Search the Collection<br>
+
To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:  
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:<br>
+
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page<br>
+
⇒Select the "DGS Film Number" category<br>
+
which takes you to the images<br>
+
  
Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.
+
*Name
 +
*Other identifying information such as residence
  
Or
+
==== Search the Collection  ====
  
Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list 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 about more than one person to find your ancestor.  
+
To search the collection by name fill in your ancestor’s name in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about those in the list to what you already know about your own ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person.  
  
Begin your search by locating your ancestor 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.  
+
If you did not find the person you were looking for, you may need to search the collection image by image.  <br>
 +
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page <br>
 +
⇒Select the appropriate "State" <br>
 +
⇒Select the appropriate "County" <br>
 +
⇒Select the appropriate "Township" <br>
 +
⇒Select the appropriate "District" which takes you to the images.  
  
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.  
+
Look at the images one by one. Again you will need to compare the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. Be aware that with either search you may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination. Keep in mind:
  
For example:
+
*There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
 +
*You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
 +
*Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.
 +
*If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
 +
*Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
  
*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.  
+
For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line video at [http://broadcast.lds.org/familysearch/2011-12-03-familysearch-search-tips-1000k-eng.mp4 FamilySearch Search Tips].
*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.
+
*If they are subject to military service they may have military files in the State or National Archives.  
+
*Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment, school, or military records.
+
  
It is often helpful to extract the information on all families with the same surname in the same general area. If the surname is uncommon, it is likely that those living in the same area were related.
+
==== Using the Information  ====
  
Be sure to extract all families before you look at other records. The relationships given will help you to organize family groups. The family groupings will help you identify related families when you discover additional information in other records.  
+
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:
  
Some other helpful tips to keep in mind are:
+
*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.
 +
*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.
  
 +
==== Tips to Keep in Mind  ====
 +
 +
*Birth places can tell you former residences and can help to establish a migration pattern for the family.
 +
*It is often helpful to extract the information on all families with the same surname in the same general area. If the surname is uncommon, it is likely that those living in the same area were related.
 +
*Be sure to extract all families before you look at other records. The relationships given will help you to organize family groups. The family groupings will help you identify related families when you discover additional information in other records.
 
*Married family members may have lived nearby but in a separate household so you may want to search an entire town, neighboring towns, or even a county.  
 
*Married family members may have lived nearby but in a separate household so you may want to search an entire town, neighboring towns, or even a county.  
 
*You may be able to identify an earlier generation if elderly parents were living with or close by a married child.  
 
*You may be able to identify an earlier generation if elderly parents were living with or close by a married child.  
 
*You may be able to identify a younger generation if a young married couple still lived with one of their sets of parents.  
 
*You may be able to identify a younger generation if a young married couple still lived with one of their sets of parents.  
 
*Additional searches may be needed to locate all members of a particular family in the census.  
 
*Additional searches may be needed to locate all members of a particular family in the census.  
*The census may identify persons for whom other records do not exist.  
+
*The census may identify persons for whom other records do not exist.
*Birth dates calculated from ages are often off by a year.
+
 
 +
==== Unable to Find Your Ancestor?  ====
 +
 
 +
*Remember that as with any index, transcription errors may occur.
 +
*Check for variant spellings of the names.
 +
*Look for another index. Local historical and genealogical societies often have indexes to local records.
 +
*Search neighboring localities or states.
 +
 
 +
==== General Information About These Records  ====
 +
 
 +
Population schedules were recorded on 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 the order in which the enumerator visited the households.
 +
 
 +
Federal census takers were asked to record information about all the people who were in a household on the census day, which was 1 January for the 1920 census. A census taker might have visited the residence on a later date, but the information collected was to have been about the people 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 sent to the Census Office of the Commerce Department in Washington, D.C. The schedules cover 95 to 97 percent of the population.
 +
 
 +
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.  
 +
 
 +
{{USCensus}}
  
== Known Issues with This Collection<br> ==
+
== Known Issues with This Collection <br> ==
  
 
{{HR Known Issues}}For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached [[United States Census Population Schedules 1920 (FamilySearch Historical Records)/Known Issues|Wiki article]]. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to [mailto:support@familysearch.org support@familysearch.org]. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.  
 
{{HR Known Issues}}For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached [[United States Census Population Schedules 1920 (FamilySearch Historical Records)/Known Issues|Wiki article]]. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to [mailto:support@familysearch.org support@familysearch.org]. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.  

Revision as of 15:39, 7 August 2013

FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.
Access the records: United States Census, 1920 .

Contents

Record Description

The collection consists of an index of population schedules listing inhabitants of the United States in 1920. This was the fourteenth census conducted since 1790. There were 107.5 million individuals enumerated this census year. The index was created by FamilySearch and Ancestry.com.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org. Source citations include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

"United States Census, 1920." Index. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. NARA microfilm publication T625. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. : n.d.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

Important genealogical information in the 1920 census:

  • State, county, township, town/city, precinct and enumeration district
  • Date census was taken (information given based on a 1 January 1920 date)
  • Street name and house number
  • Name of head of household
  • Names of all members of household
  • Relationship to head of household
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Age (can be used to calculate the approximate birth year)
  • Marital status (single, married, widowed or divorced)
  • Immigrant or naturalized citizen
  • Date of naturalization
  • Whether attended school or not
  • Able to read and write?
  • Birthplace of each member
  • Language spoken
  • Father's birthplace
  • Mother's birthplace
  • Occupation

How to Use the Records

To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:

  • Name
  • Other identifying information such as residence

Search the Collection

To search the collection by name fill in your ancestor’s name in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about those in the list to what you already know about your own ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person.

If you did not find the person you were looking for, you may need to search the collection image by image.
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the appropriate "State"
⇒Select the appropriate "County"
⇒Select the appropriate "Township"
⇒Select the appropriate "District" which takes you to the images.

Look at the images one by one. Again you will need to compare the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. Be aware that with either search you may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination. Keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.
  • If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
  • Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line video at FamilySearch Search Tips.

Using the Information

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.
  • 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.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Birth places can tell you former residences and can help to establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • It is often helpful to extract the information on all families with the same surname in the same general area. If the surname is uncommon, it is likely that those living in the same area were related.
  • Be sure to extract all families before you look at other records. The relationships given will help you to organize family groups. The family groupings will help you identify related families when you discover additional information in other records.
  • Married family members may have lived nearby but in a separate household so you may want to search an entire town, neighboring towns, or even a county.
  • You may be able to identify an earlier generation if elderly parents were living with or close by a married child.
  • You may be able to identify a younger generation if a young married couple still lived with one of their sets of parents.
  • Additional searches may be needed to locate all members of a particular family in the census.
  • The census may identify persons for whom other records do not exist.

Unable to Find Your Ancestor?

  • Remember that as with any index, transcription errors may occur.
  • Check for variant spellings of the names.
  • Look for another index. Local historical and genealogical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search neighboring localities or states.

General Information About These Records

Population schedules were recorded on 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 the order in which the enumerator visited the households.

Federal census takers were asked to record information about all the people who were in a household on the census day, which was 1 January for the 1920 census. A census taker might have visited the residence on a later date, but the information collected was to have been about the people 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 sent to the Census Office of the Commerce Department in Washington, D.C. The schedules cover 95 to 97 percent of the population.

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.


Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Related Websites

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions To This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. Guidelines are available to help you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide. If you would like to get more involved join the WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should 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 Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

"United States Census, 1920," database and digital images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MLBX-6PY&nbsp;: accessed 11 April 2012), John T Elliot in household of Charles N Elliot (Ketchikan, First, Alaska).