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1920 United States Federal Census
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1920 United States Federal Census

1920 United States Federal Census with links to images of the original surviving population schedules.

Description

This database will detail those persons (heads of household) enumerated in the 1920 United States Federal Census, the Fourteenth Census of the United States. In addition, the names of those heads of households listed on the population schedule are linked to the actual images of the 1920 Federal Census, copied from the National Archives and Records Administration microfilm, T625, 2,076 rolls.

Currently only the names from the following states can be searched in this linked index:
•Arizona
•Arkansas (except the following rolls: 79, 82)
•Georgia (except the following roll: 239)
•Illinois
•Louisiana (except the following rolls: 614, 616, 636)
•Massachusetts (except the following rolls: 690, 709, 726, 727, 731, 732, 748, 751)
•New Hampshire
•New Jersey
•New Mexico
•New York
•Oklahoma (except the following rolls: 1480, 1485, 1486, 1488, 1489)
•Pennsylvania
•Utah
•Vermont
•Washington
•Wisconsin (except the following rolls: 1978, 2002)
If you do not initially find the name on the page that you are linked to, try a few pages forward or backward, as sometimes different pages had the same page number.


Extended Description

The United States was the first country to call for a regularly held census. The Constitution required that a census of all "Persons..." be performed to determine the collection of taxes and the appropriation of seats in the House of Representatives.

The 1920 Census was begun on 1 January 1920. The following questions were asked by enumerators: Name of street, avenue road, etc.; house number or farm; number of dwelling in order of visitation; number of family in order of visitation; name of each person whose place of abode was with the family; relationship of person enumerated to the head of the family; whether home owned or rented; if owned, whether free or mortgaged; sex; color or race; age at last birthday; whether single, married, widowed, or divorced; year of immigration to United States; whether naturalized or alien; if naturalized, year of naturalization; whether attended school any time since 1 September 1919; whether able to read; whether able to write; person's place of birth; mother tongue; father's place of birth; father's mother tongue; mother's place of birth; mother's mother tongue; whether able to speak English; trade, profession, or particular kind of work done; industry, business, or establishment in which at work; whether employer, salary or wage worker, or working on own account; number of farm schedule.

The date of the enumeration appears on the heading of each page of the census schedule. All responses were to reflect the individual's status as of 1 January 1920, even if the status had changed between 1 January and the day of enumeration. Children born between 1 January and the day of enumeration were not to be listed, while individuals alive on 1 January but deceased when the enumerator arrived were to be counted.

Unlike the 1910 census, the 1920 census did not have questions regarding unemployment, Union or Confederate military service, number of children, or duration of marriage. It did, however, include four new question columns: one asked the year of naturalization and three inquired about mother tongue. The 1920 census also asked the year of arrival and status of every foreign-born person and inquired about the year of naturalization for those individuals who had become U.S. citizens. In 1920 the census included, for the first time, Guam, American Samoa, and the Panama Canal Zone.

Due to boundary modifications in Europe resulting from World War I, some individuals were uncertain about how to identify their national origin. Enumerators were instructed to spell out the name of the city, state, province, or region of respondents who declared that they or their parents had been born in Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia, or Turkey. Interpretation of the birthplace varied from one enumerator to another. Some failed to identify specific birthplaces within those named countries, and others provided an exact birthplace in countries not designated in the instructions.

There are no separate Indian population schedules in the 1920 census. Inhabitants of reservations were enumerated in the general population schedules. Enumerators were instructed not to report servicemen in the family enumerations but to treat them as residents of their duty posts. The 1920 census includes schedules for overseas military and naval forces.

The original 1920 census schedules were destroyed by authorization of the Eighty-third Congress, so it is not possible to consult originals when microfilm copies prove unreadable.

Taken from Chapter 5: Research in Census Records, The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy by Loretto Dennis Szucs; edited by Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking (Salt Lake City, UT: Ancestry Incorporated, 1997).

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