United States, Census of Merchant Seamen, 1930 (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: United States, Census of Merchant Seamen, 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|
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.
This information pertains to individuals and crew members of vessels on April 1, 1930.
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.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.
- Bureau of the Census. Census of merchant seamen 1930. National Archives, Washington D.C.
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.
- 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
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Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection
"United States, Census of Merchant Seamen, 1930" database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 30 September 2011). r 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.