United States Census 1920
Indexes and Images
For an article about 1920 censuses scheduled to become available for free online at FamilySearch Historical Record Collections see the U.S. Census Population Schedules, 1920 Wiki page. Ancestry.com (subscription site) has indexes and images of all 1920 federal censuses. HeritageQuestOnline.com (subscription site) has images of all 1920 federal censuses. A Soundex index for each state is also available on microfilm.
For details, see individual state census Wiki pages. For tips if the first census index search does not work, see the United States Census Searching Wiki page.
A free Internet index to the 1920 United States Census can be viewed at FamilySearch.org. This index includes every name listed on the census. Index includes the name, residence, estimated birth year, age in years, birth place, relationship to head of house, gender, race or color, marital status, father birth place, mother birth place, film number, digital GS number, image number and sheet number.
1790-2000 Information: http://www.census.gov/prod/2000pubs/cff-2.pdf
1920 Census was taken beginning 1 January 1920, for thirty days, or two weeks for populations of 2,500+.
The following information was recorded by the census taker:
- Name of street, ave., road
- House number or farm
- Number of dwelling in order of visitation
- Number of family in order of visitation
- Name of each person who lived w/family
- Relationship of person to head of family
- Home owned or rented
- If owned, mortgaged or free
- Color or race
- Age at last birthday
- Single, married, widowed or divorced
- Year of immigration to U.S.
- Naturalized or alien
- If naturalized, year of naturalization
- Attended school since 1 Sep 1919
- Can read or write
- Mother tongue
- Father’s birthplace
- Father’s mother tongue
- Mother’s birthplace
- Mother’s mother tongue
- Speak English
- Trade, profession or type of work
- Industry, business or establishment at work
- Number of farm schedule
The 1920 census can be used to:
- View several instances, where women, rather than men were listed as head of household in Soundex index
- Identify date of Naturalization
- More specific questions asked of immigrants from Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, & Turkey could facilitate pinpointing birthplaces.
A statistical study was done in 1923 on coal miners listed in the 1920 census.The codes used follow:
MH - coal miners who were also the heads of their households
BD - coal miners who were boarders in a household
BWF - coal miners who lived in their parent's household
USC - "colored" coal miners who were born in the United States (for African American miners)
USW - "white" coal miners who were born in the United States (for caucasians miners)
1850-1930 Search Tips: http://www.archives.gov/research/census/1850-1930.html
Unique Features and Problems
- Date of enumeration on heading of each page
- All responses supposed to be as of 1 Jan 1920
- a. Omit—children born between 1 Jan 1920 and enumeration
- b. Include—people alive on 1 Jan 1920, but dead by enumeration
- Year of naturalization
- If a farmer, it includes the corresponding farm schedule
- No separate schedule for the Indian population
- More accurate listing of place of birth for those born in Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia or Turkey
- Did not list some of the previous questions. (number of children, years of marriage, military service, unemployment)
- Census included: Guam, American Samoa, Panama Canal Zone
- Soundex Index for each state/territory
- Servicemen counted at duty posts, not in their families
- Includes schedules & Soundex index for overseas military & naval forces
- Soundex cards for institutions are found at the end of each state’s soundex section
- Institutions at the end of the enumeration section
- Originals destroyed by 83rd Congress
States and Territories Covered
- All states, District of Columbia, and the Territories listed below:
- No States Missing
Where to Find the Records
The 1920 Federal Census is available online.
- 1920 United States Federal Census (Ancestry) ($)
- United States Census, 1920 (FamilySearch) - index only
1920 United States Census—A free Internet census partial index to the 1920 census can be viewed on the FamilySearch Record Search. This index shows every name listed on the census including information about each person’s residence, age, and birthplace. Census images are not included.
1790-2000 Info: http://www.census.gov/prod/2000pubs/cff-2.pdf
1850-1930 Search Tips: http://www.archives.gov/genealogy/census/1850-1930.html
FamilySearch Historical Record Collections
An online collection containing this record is located in FamilySearch.org.
A wiki article describing this collecion is found at:
1. Szucs, Loretto Dennis and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking. The Source: A Guide book to American Genealogy. 3rd ed. (Provo, UT: Ancestry, 2006.)
2. Coal miners: As of 2004, information from Bill from Heritage Quest and Bethany Evans one of their professional census indexers.
How to Cite Your Sources
An example of citing these records is: United States. Bureau of the Census. 14th census, 1920. United States Census, 1920. Census page. From FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org), April 23, 2010. James B Smith, Clayton, Adams, Illinois, image number 00094.
Instructions for citing this source can be found at: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections