Census Changes

Spread the love

Census Changes within The Federal Census contain a huge amount of information for research. The census is/was taken every ten year period beginning in 1790. From 1850 to 1940, details are provided for all individuals in each household. From 1850 to 1940, details are provided for every individual in each household. The Census Changes have affected how lineage is determined. The information below relies heavily on information from the U S Census Bureau and the National Archives. The Census Bureau collects the census every ten year period. The records are turned over to the National Archives who hold them for seventy two years before they can be released to the public.

Click to Enlarge Image

Census Taker, From The Library of Congress
Census Taker, From The Library of Congress

Census Changes listed on the 1790 Census;

  • The name of the (white, male) householder
  • Free white males who were at least 16 years old
  • Free white males who were at least 16 years old
  • Free white females
  • All other free persons
  • Slaves. Slaves were counted as 3/5th of a person
  • Indians were not counted until 1870

Census Changes listed on the 1800 Census;

  • The name of the Head of household.
  • Number of free White Males under 10 years of age
  • Number of free White Males of 16 years but under 26 years
  • Number of free White Males of 26 years but under 45 years
  • Number of free White Males 45 years and upward
  • Number of free White Females under 10 years of age
  • Number of free White Females of 16 years but under 26 year
  • Number of free White Females of 26 years but under 45 years
  • Number of free White Females 45 years and upward
  • Number of all other free persons
  • Number of slaves

Census Changes listed on the 1810 Census

In 1810, the slate of questions asked by assistant U.S. marshals was identical to the 1800 census. This census recorded the name of the county, parish, township, town, or city in which each family resided. Each family was listed by the name of the head of household and asked the following questions:
  • The name of the Head of household.
  • Number of free White Males under 10 years of age
  • Number of free White Males of 16 years but under 26 years
  • Number of free White Males of 26 years but under 45 years
  • Number of free White Males 45 years and upward
  • Number of free White Females under 10 years of age
  • Number of free White Females of 16 years but under 26 year
  • Number of free White Females of 26 years but under 45 years
  • Number of free White Females 45 years and upward
  • Number of all other free persons
  • Number of slaves

Census Changes listed on the 1820 Census

The 1820 census built on the questions asked in 1810. The age questions were the same, except for the addition of a 16 – 18 years category for males.
  • The name of the Head of household.
  • Number of free White Males under 10 years of age
  • Number of free White Males of 16 years but under 26 years
  • Number of free White Males of 26 years but under 45 years
  • Number of free White Males 45 years and upward
  • Number of free White Females under 10 years of age
  • Number of free White Females of 16 years but under 26 year
  • Number of free White Females of 26 years but under 45 years
  • Number of free White Females 45 years and upward
  • Male Slaves under 14 years of age
  • Male Slaves of 14 years but under 26 years
  • Male Slaves of 26 years but under 45 years
  • Male Slaves 45 years and upwards
  • Female Slaves under 14 years of age
  • Female Slaves of 14 years but under 26 years
  • Female Slaves 45 years and upwards
  • Free Colored Males under 14 years of age
  • Free Colored Males of 14 years but under 26 years
  • Free Colored Males of 26 years but under 45 years
  • Free Colored Males 45 years and upwards
  • Free Colored Females under 14 years of age
  • Free Colored Females of 14 years but under 26 years
  • Free Colored Females of 26 years but under 45 years
  • Free Colored Males 45 years and upwards
  • Number of foreigners not naturalized
  • Number of persons (including slaves) engaged in agriculture, commerce, and manufactures

Census Changes listed on the 1830 Census

The 1830 census counted the population only. After the failures of the past two censuses, no attempt was made to collect additional data on manufacturing and industry in the United States.
  • Name of the Head of Household
  • Free White Males under 5
  • Free White Males of 5 and under ten
  • Free White Males of ten and under 15
  • Free White Males of fifteen and under twenty
  • Free White Males of twenty and under thirty
  • Free White Males of thirty and under forty
  • Free White Males of forty and under fifty
  • Free White Males of fifty and under sixty
  • Free White Males of sixty and under seventy
  • Free White Males of seventy and under eighty
  • Free White Males of eighty and under ninety
  • Free White Males of ninety and under one hundred
  • Free White Males of one hundred and beyond
  • Free White Males under 5
  • Free White Females of 5 and under ten
  • Free White Females of ten and under 15
  • Free White Females of fifteen and under twenty
  • Free White Females of twenty and under thirty
  • Free White Females of thirty and under forty
  • Free White Females of forty and under fifty
  • Free White Females of fifty and under sixty
  • Free White Females of sixty and under seventy
  • Free White Females of seventy and under eighty
  • Free White Females of eighty and under ninety
  • Free White Females of ninety and under one hundred
  • Free White Females of one hundred and beyond
  • Male Slaves under ten
  • Male Slaves of ten and under twenty four
  • Male Slaves of twenty four and under thirty six
  • Male Slaves of thirty six and under fifty five
  • Male Slaves if fifty five and under one hundred
  • Male Slaves of one hundred and upwards
  • Female Slaves under ten
  • Female Slaves of ten and under twenty four
  • Female Slaves of twenty four and under thirty six
  • Female Slaves of thirty six and under fifty five
  • Female Slaves if fifty five and under one hundred
  • Female Slaves of one hundred and upwards
  • Free Colored Males under ten
  • Free Colored Males of ten and under twenty four
  • Free Colored Males of twenty four and under thirty six
  • Free Colored Males of thirty six and under fifty five
  • Free Colored Males if fifty five and under one hundred
  • Free Colored Males of one hundred and upwards
  • Free Colored Females under ten
  • Free Colored Females of ten and under twenty four
  • Free Colored Females of twenty four and under thirty six
  • Free Colored Females of thirty six and under fifty five
  • Free Colored Females if fifty five and under one hundred
  • Free Colored Females of one hundred and upwards

Census Changes listed on the 1840 Census

  • Name of the Head of Household
  • Free White Males under 5
  • Free White Males of 5 and under ten
  • Free White Males of ten and under 15
  • Free White Males of fifteen and under twenty
  • Free White Males of twenty and under thirty
  • Free White Males of thirty and under forty
  • Free White Males of forty and under fifty
  • Free White Males of fifty and under sixty
  • Free White Males of sixty and under seventy
  • Free White Males of seventy and under eighty
  • Free White Males of eighty and under ninety
  • Free White Males of ninety and under one hundred
  • Free White Males of one hundred and beyond
  • Free White Males under 5
  • Free White Females of 5 and under ten
  • Free White Females of ten and under 15
  • Free White Females of fifteen and under twenty
  • Free White Females of twenty and under thirty
  • Free White Females of thirty and under forty
  • Free White Females of forty and under fifty
  • Free White Females of fifty and under sixty
  • Free White Females of sixty and under seventy
  • Free White Females of seventy and under eighty
  • Free White Females of eighty and under ninety
  • Free White Females of ninety and under one hundred
  • Free White Females of one hundred and beyond
  • Male Slaves under ten
  • Male Slaves of ten and under twenty four
  • Male Slaves of twenty four and under thirty six
  • Male Slaves of thirty six and under fifty five
  • Male Slaves if fifty five and under one hundred
  • Male Slaves of one hundred and upwards
  • Female Slaves under ten
  • Female Slaves of ten and under twenty four
  • Female Slaves of twenty four and under thirty six
  • Female Slaves of thirty six and under fifty five
  • Female Slaves if fifty five and under one hundred
  • Female Slaves of one hundred and upwards
  • Free Colored Males under ten
  • Free Colored Males of ten and under twenty four
  • Free Colored Males of twenty four and under thirty six
  • Free Colored Males of thirty six and under fifty five
  • Free Colored Males if fifty five and under one hundred
  • Free Colored Males of one hundred and upwards
  • Free Colored Females under ten
  • Free Colored Females of ten and under twenty four
  • Free Colored Females of twenty four and under thirty six
  • Free Colored Females of thirty six and under fifty five
  • Free Colored Females if fifty five and under one hundred
  • Free Colored Females of one hundred and upwards

Census Changes Listed in 1850 Census

The 1850 census saw a dramatic shift in the way information about residents was collected. For the first time, free persons were listed individually instead of by family. There were two questionnaires: one for free inhabitants and one for slaves.

Schedule No. 1 – Free Inhabitants

Listed by column number, enumerators recorded the following information:
  • Number of dwelling house (in order visited)
  • Number of family (in order visited)
  • Name
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Color
  • This column was to be left blank if a person was White, marked “B” if a person was Black, and marked “M” if a person was Mulatto.
  • Profession, occupation, or trade of each person over 15 years of age
  • Value of real estate owned by person
  • Place of Birth
  • If a person was born in the United States, the enumerator was to enter the state they were born in. If the person was born outside of the United States, the enumerator was to enter their native country.
  • Was the person married within the last year?
  • Was the person at school within the last year?
  • If this person was over 20 years of age, could they not read and write?
  • Is the person “deaf, dumb, blind, insane, idiotic, pauper, or convict?”

Schedule No. 2 – Slave Inhabitants

Slaves were listed by owner, not individually. Listed by column number, enumerators recorded the following information:
  • Name of owner
  • Number of slave
  • Each owner’s slave was only assigned a number, not a name. Numbering restarted with each new owner
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Color, This column was to be marked with a “B” if the slave was Black and an “M” if they were Mulatto.
  • Listed in the same row as the owner, the number of uncaught escaped slaves in the past year
  • Listed in the same row as the owner, the number of slaves freed from bondage in the past year
  • Is the slave “deaf and dumb, blind, insane, or idiotic?”

Census Changes Listed in 1860 Census

There were multiple questionnaires used for the 1860 census. These including a separate slave questionnaire that collected the same information as in 1850. Listed by column, the free inhabitant questionnaire collected the following information:
  • Number of dwelling home in order of visitation by the enumerator
  • Number of family in order of visitation by the enumerator
  • Name
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Color, Enumerators could mark “W” for Whites, “B” for Blacks, or “M” for Mulattos.
  • Profession, Occupation, or Trade of each person, male and female, over 15 years of age
  • Value of person’s real estate
  • Value of person’s personal estate
  • Place of birth, Enumerator could list the state, territory, or country of the person’s birth
  • Was the person was married within the last year?
  • Did the person attend school within the last year?
  • If the person was over 20 years of age, could he not read or write?
  • Was the person deaf and dumb, blind, idiotic, pauper, or convict?

1870 Census

Census Changes Listed in 1870 Census

For the 1870 census, enumerators recorded demographic information on the following topics, organized by column number:
  • Number of dwelling house, by order of visitation from enumerator
  • Number of family, by order of visitation from enumerator
  • Name
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Color, Enumerators could mark “W” for White, “B” for Black, “M” for Mulatto, “C” for Chinese [a category which included all east Asians], or “I” for American Indian.
  • Profession, occupation, or trade
  • Value of real estate
  • Value of personal estate
  • Place of birth
  • State or territory of the United States or foreign country
  • Was the person’s father of foreign birth?
  • Was the person’s mother of foreign birth?
  • If the person was born within the last year, which month?
  • If the person was married within the last year, which month?
  • Did the person attend school within the last year?
  • Can the person not read?
  • Can the person not write?
  • Is the person deaf and dumb, blind, insane, or idiotic?
  • Is the person a male citizen of the United States of 21 years or upwards?
  • Is the person a male citizen of the United States of 21 years or upwards whose right to vote is denied or abridged on grounds other than “rebellion or other crime?”

1880 Census

Census Changes Listed in 1880 Census Including Census Changes

For the 1880 census, enumerators asked residents questions across several categories, including occupation, health, education, and nativity. Listed by column number, the following information was gathered:
  • Number of dwelling home, in order of visitation by the enumerator
  • Number of family, in order of visitation by the enumerator
  • Name
  • Color, Enumerators were to mark “W” for White, “B” for Black, “Mu” for Mulatto, “C” for Chinese [a category which included all east Asians], of “I” for American Indian
  • Sex
  • Age
  • If the person was born within the census year, what was the month?
  • Relationship to the head of the family
  • Is the person single?
  • Is the person married?
  • Is the person widowed or divorced? Enumerators were to mark “W” for widowed and “D” for divorced
  • Was the person married within the census year?
  • Profession, occupation, or trade
  • Number of months the person had been employed within the census year
  • Was, on the day of the enumerator’s visit, the person was sick or disabled so as to be unable to attend to ordinary business or duties?
  • If so, what was the sickness or disability?
  • Was the person blind?
  • Was the person deaf and dumb?
  • Was the person idiotic?
  • Was the person insane?
  • Was the person maimed, crippled, bedridden, or otherwise disabled?
  • Had the person attended school in the past year?
  • Can the person not read?
  • Can the person not write?
  • What was the person’s place of birth?
  • What was the person’s father’s place of birth?
  • What was the person’s mother’s place of birth?

1890 Census

Census Changes Listed on the 1890 Census

(The 1890 Census was destroyed due to a fire)

For 1890, the Census Office changed the design of the population questionnaire. Residents were still listed individually, but a new questionnaire sheet was used for each family. Additionally, this was the first year that the census distinguished between different East Asian races. Below is the questions asked;
  • Number of dwelling house in the order of visitation by enumerator
  • Number of families in the dwelling house
  • Number of persons in the dwelling house
  • Number of this family in order of visitation by enumerator
  • Number of persons in this family
  • Christian name in full, and initial of middle name
  • Surname
  • Was this person a soldier, sailor, or marine during the Civil War (U.S.A. or C.S.A.), or the widow of such a person?
  • Relationship to the head of the family
  • Race, Enumerators were instructed to write “White,” “Black,” “Mulatto,” “Quadroon,” “Octoroon,” “Chinese,” “Japanese,” or “Indian.”
  • Sex
  • Age
  • Was the person single, married, widowed, or divorced?
  • Was the person married within the last year?
  • How many children was the person a mother of? How many of those children were living?
  • Person’s place of birth
  • Place of birth of person’s father
  • Place of birth of person’s mother
  • How many years has the person been in the United States?
  • Is the person naturalized?
  • Has the person taken naturalization papers out?
  • Profession, trade, or occupation
  • Number of months unemployed in the past year
  • How many months did the person attend school in the past year?
  • Can the person read?
  • Can the person write?
  • Can the person speak English? If not, what language does he speak?
  • Is the person suffering from an acute chronic disease?
  • If so, what is the name of that disease and the length of time affected?
  • Is the person defective of mind, sight, hearing, or speech?
  • Is the person crippled, maimed, or deformed?
  • If yes, what was the name of his defect?
  • Is the person a prisoner, convict, homeless child, or pauper?
  • Depending on the person’s status in the questions in rows 22, 23,or 24, the enumerator would indicate on this line whether additional information was recorded about him on a special schedule
The following questions, located at the end of each family’s questionnaire sheet were asked of each family and farm visited:
  • Was the home the family lived in hired, or was it owned by the head or by a member of the family?
  • If owned by a member of the family, was the home free from “mortgage encumbrance?”
  • If the head of the family was a farmer, was the farm which he cultivated hired or was it owned by him or a member of his family?
  • If owned by the head or member of the family, was the farm free from “mortgage encumbrance?”
  • If the home or farm was owned by the head or member of the family, and mortgaged, what was the post office address of the owner?

1900 Census

Census Changes Listed on the 1900 Census Including Census Changes

For 1900, the Census Office dropped the “family questionnaire” form style and reverted to filling entire sheets of information on residents. The information gathered by enumerators for the 1900 census, organized by column, is:
  • Number of dwelling home in order of visitation by enumerator
  • Number of family in order of visitation by enumerator
  • Name
  • Relation to head of the family
  • Color or Race, Enumerators were to mark “W” for White, “B” for Black, “Ch” for Chinese, “Jp” for Japanese, or “In” for American Indian.
  • Sex
  • Date of Birth
  • Age
  • Was the person single, married, widowed, or divorced?
  • How many years has the person been married?
  • For mothers, how many children has the person had?
  • How many of those children are living?
  • What was the person’s place of birth?
  • What was the person’s father’s place of birth?
  • What was the person’s mother’s place of birth?
  • What year did the person immigrate to the United States?
  • How many years has the person been in the United States?
  • Is the person naturalized?
  • Occupation, trade, or profession
  • How many months has the person not been employed in the past year?
  • How many months did the person attend school in the past year?
  • Can the person read?
  • Can the person write?
  • Can the person speak English?
  • Is the person’s home owned or rented?
  • If it is owned, is the person’s home owned free or mortgaged?
  • Does the person live in a farm or in a house?
  • If a person lived on a farm, the enumerator was to write that farm’s identification number on its corresponding agricultural questionnaire in this column.
Indian Population Schedule
Enumerators were instructed to use a special expanded questionnaire for American Indians living on reservations or in family groups off of reservations. The first 28 questions on the schedule are nearly identical to those asked to the general population. The only difference is that enumerators were instructed to mark “Ration Indian” in the occupation column for those American Indians who were wholly dependent on government aid for support. Enumerators were to mark “R” next to the occupation of those who were partly dependent on government aid. The following additional information, listed by column number, was collected from persons listed on the Indian population schedule:
  • Indian Name
  • Tribe of this person
  • Tribe of this person’s father
  • Tribe of this person’s mother
  • Fraction of person’s lineage that is white
  • Is this person living in polygamy?
  • Is this person taxed? An American Indian was considered “taxed” if he or she was detached from his or her tribe and was living in the White community and subject to general taxation, or had been allotted land by the federal government and thus acquired citizenship.
  • If this person has acquired American citizenship, what year?
  • Did this person acquire citizenship by receiving an allotment of land from the federal government?
  • Is this person’s house “movable” or “fixed?”
  • Enumerators were to mark “movable” if the person lived in a tent, tepee, or other temporary structure; they were to mark “fixed” if he or she lived in a permanent dwelling of any kind.

1910 Census

Census Changes listed on the 1910 Census Including Census Changes

The 1910 census questionnaire was similar in design to that used in 1900. The most notable change was the late addition, at the behest of Congress, of a question concerning a person’s “mother tongue.” It was so late, in fact, that questionnaires for the census had already been printed. Information on “mother tongues” was to be added into “nativity” columns 12, 13, and 14. The following information, listed by column number, was gathered from each resident:
  • Number of dwelling house in order of enumeration
  • Number of family in order of enumeration
  • Name
  • Relationship to head of the family
  • Sex
  • Color or Race, Enumerators were to enter “W” for White, “B” for Black, “Mu” for mulatto, “Ch” for Chinese, “Jp” for Japanese, “In” for American Indian, or “Ot” for other races
  • Age
  • Is the person single, married, widowed, or divorced, Enumerators were to enter “S” for single, “Wd” for widowed, “D” for divorced, “M1” for married persons in their first marriage, and “M2” for those married persons in their second or subsequent marriage
  • Number of years of present marriage
  • How many children is the person the mother of
  • Of the children a person has mothered, how many are still alive
  • Place of birth of the person
  • Place of birth of the person’s father
  • Place of birth of the person’s mother
  • Year of immigration to the United States
  • Is the person naturalized or an alien
  • Can the person speak English, if not, what language does the person speak
  • The person’s trade, profession, or occupation

Census Info on the 1920 Census Including Census Changes

For the 1920 census, individuals were enumerated as residents of the place in which they regularly slept, not where they worked or might be visiting. People with no regular residence, including “floaters” and members of transient railroad or construction camps, were enumerated as residents of the place where they were when the count was taken. Enumerators were also instructed to ask if any family members were temporarily absent; if so, these people were to be listed either with the household or on the last schedule for the census subdivision. The 1920 census did not ask about unemployment on the day of the census, nor did it ask about service in the Union or Confederate army or navy. Questions about the number of children born and how long a couple had been married were also omitted. The bureau modified the enumeration of inmates of institutions and dependent, defective, and delinquent classes.
The 1920 census included four new questions: one asking the year of naturalization and three about mother tongue. There was no separate schedule for Indians in 1920. Because of the changes in some international boundaries following World War I, enumerators were instructed to report the province (state or region) or city of persons declaring they or their parents had been born in Austria-Hungary, Germany, Russia, or Turkey. If a person had been born in any other foreign country, only the name of the country was to be entered. The instructions to enumerators did not require the individuals to spell out their names. Enumerators only wrote down the information given to them; they were not authorized to request proof of age, date of arrival, or other information. The determination of race was based on the enumerator’s impressions.
  • Street of person’s place of abode
  • Enumerators were to write the name of the street vertically in the column, so that they only had to write it once for all of the enumerated persons living on that street
  • House number or farm
  • Number of dwelling house in order of visitation by enumerator
  • Number of family in order of visitation by enumerator
  • Name
  • Relationship to head of family
  • Is the person’s home owned or rented?
  • If owned, is it owned freely or mortgaged?
  • Sex
  • Color or race, Enumerators were to enter “W” for White, “B” for Black, “Mu” for mulatto, “Ch” for Chinese, “Jp” for Japanese, “In” for American Indian, or “Ot” for other races.
  • Age at last birthday
  • Single, married, widowed, or divorced? Enumerators were to enter “S” for single, “Wd” for widowed, “D” for divorced, “M1” for married persons in their first marriage, and “M2” for those married persons in their second or subsequent marriage.
  • Year of immigration to the United States
  • Is the person naturalized or alien?
  • If naturalized, what was the year of naturalization?
  • Did the person attend school at any time since September 1, 1919?
  • Can the person read?
  • Can the person write?
  • Person’s place of birth
  • Person’s mother tongue
  • Person’s father’s place of birth
  • Person’s father’s mother tongue
  • Person’s mother’s place of birth
  • Person’s mother’s mother tongue
  • Can the person speak English?
  • Person’s trade or profession
  • Industry, business, or establishment in which the person works
  • Is the person an employer, a salary or wage worker, or working on his own account?
  • If the person is a farmer, what is the farm’s identification number on the corresponding farm schedule?

Census Info on the 1930 Census Including Census Changes

For the 1930 census a change in the way racial classification was recorded was made a part of the record.
Enumerators were instructed to no longer use the “Mulatto” classification.
A person with both White and Black lineage was to be recorded as Black, no matter the fraction of that lineage.
A person of mixed Black and American Indian lineage was also to be recorded as Black, unless he was considered to be “predominantly” American Indian and accepted as such within the community.
A person with both White and American Indian lineage was to be recorded as an Indian, unless his American Indian lineage was very small and he was accepted as white within the community. In fact, in all situations in which a person had White and some other racial lineage, he was to be reported as that other race.
Persons who had minority interracial lineages were to be reported as the race of their father.
For the first and only time, “Mexican” was listed as a race. Enumerators were to record all persons who had been born in Mexico or whose parents had been born in Mexico and who did not fall into another racial category as “Mexican.”
1930
  • Street the enumerated person lives on
  • House number of enumerated person (in cities and towns)
  • Number of dwelling house in order of visitation by enumerator
  • Number of family in order of visitation by enumerator
  • Name
  • Relationship to head of family
  • Is the person’s home owned or rented?
  • Value of home, if owned, or monthly rental, if rented
  • Radio Set
  • Does this family live on a farm?
  • Sex
  • Color or Race, Enumerators were to enter “W” for white, “Neg” for black, “Mex” for Mexican, “In” for American Indian, “Ch” for Chinese, “Jp” for Japanese, “Fil” for Filipino, “Hin” for Hindu, and “Kor” for Korean. All other races were to be written out in full.
  • Age at last birthday
  • Marital condition
  • Person’s mother’s place of birth
  • Age at first marriage
  • Has the person attended school at any time since Sept. 1, 1929?
  • Person’s place of birth
  • Can the person read and write?
  • Person’s father’s place of birth
  • Language spoken in home before coming to the United States
  • Year of immigration into the United States
  • Is the person naturalized or an alien?
  • Is the person able to speak English?
  • Trade, profession, or particular kind of work done?
  • Industry or business in which at work
  • Class of worker
  • Whether the person is actually at work?
  • Record line number for unemployed
  • Whether the person is a veteran of the U.S. military or naval forces mobilized for any war or expedition?
  • If yes, which war or expedition? Enumerators were to enter “WW” for World War I, “Sp” for the Spanish-American War, “Civ” for the Civil War, “Phil” for the Philippine insurrection, “Box” for the Boxer rebellion, or “Mex” for the Mexican expedition.Number of farm schedule
Enumerators were instructed to fill out an additional questionnaire for all gainful workers who were not at work the on the workday before enumeration. This special schedule collected the following information, organized by column number:
  • Date of enumeration
  • Sheet number of person’s corresponding population schedule entry
  • Line number of person’s corresponding population schedule entry
  • Name
  • Does this person usually work at a gainful occupation?
  • Does this person usually have a job of any kind?
  • If this person has a job…
  • How many weeks since he has worked at that job?
  • Why was he not at work yesterday (or the last regular workday)?
  • Enumerators were instructed to be as specific as possible. A list of examples provided to enumerators included: “sickness,” “was laid off,” “voluntary lay-off,” “bad weather,” “lack of materials,” “strike,” etc.
  • Does he lose a day’s pay by not being at work?
  • How many days did he work last week?
  • How many days does he work in a full-time week?
  • If this person has no job of any kind…Is he able to work?
  • Is he looking for a job?
  • For how many weeks has he been without a job?
  • Reason for being out of a job, Enumerators were instructed to be as specific as possible. A list of examples provided to enumerators included: “plant closed down,” “sickness,” “off season,” “job completed,” “machines introduced,” “strike,” etc.
Supplemental Schedule for Indian Population

The additional questions asked of American Indians were much less numerous than in past censuses. The following information, listed by column number, was collected:

  • Sheet number of person’s corresponding population schedule entry
  • Line number of person’s corresponding population schedule entry
  • Name
  • Sex
  • Age
  • Is the person of full American Indian or mixed lineage?
  • Tribe
  • Person’s Post Office address
  • Agency where the person is enrolled

Census Info listed on the 1940 Census including Census Changes

Besides name, age, relationship, and occupation, the 1940 census included questions about internal migration; employment status; participation in the New Deal Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), Works Progress Administration (WPA), and National Youth Administration (NYA) programs; and years of education. Separate pages for people living in a hotel, tourist home, or trailer camp were used. Their census information begins on page 81A for each enumeration district. Information listed;
1940
  • Street, Avenue, Road, etc
  • House Number
  • Number of household in order of visitation
  • Home owned (O) or rented (R)
  • Value of home or monthly rental if rented
  • Farm? (Yes or No)
  • Name of each person whose usual place of residence on April 1, 1940, was in this household.
  • Relationship of this person to the head of the household
  • Sex
  • Color or Race
  • Age at Last Birthday
  • Marital Status
  • Attended school or college at any time since March 1, 1940?
  • Highest grade of school completed
  • Place of Birth [Note: supposed to list the state or foreign country]
  • Citizenship of the foreign born
  • City, town or village having 2,600 or more inhabitants. If less, enter “R”
  • County
  • State (or Territory or foreign country)
  • On a farm? (Y or N)
  • Was this person at work for pay or profit in private or non-emergency Govt. work during the week of March 24-30? (Y or N)
  • If not, was he at work on, or assigned to, public Emergency Work (WPA, NYA, CCC, etc.) during the week of March 24-30? (Y or N)
  • If neither:
  • Was this person seeking work? (Y or N)
  • If not seeking work, did he have a job, business, etc.? (Y or N)
  • Indicate whether engaged in home housework (H), unable to work (U), or other (O).
  • Number of hours worked during week of March 24-30, 1940
  • Duration of unemployment up to March 30, 1940 – in weeks
  • Occupation
  • Industry
  • Class of worker
  • Number of weeks worked in 1939 (equivalent full-time weeks)
  • Amount of money, wages, or salary received
  • Did this person receive income of $50 or more from sources other than money wages or salary (Y or N)
  • Number of Farm Schedule
  • Name
  • Birthplace of father
  • Birthplace of mother
  • Language spoken in home in earliest childhood
  • Is this person a veteran of the United States military forces; or the wife, widow, or under 18-year-old child of a veteran?
  • If child, is veteran father dead? (Y or N)
  • War or military service
  • For persons 14 years old and over:
  • Does this person have a Federal Society Security Number? (Yes or No)
  • Were deductions for Federal Old-Age Insurance or Railroad Retirement made from this person’s wages or salary in 1939? (Yes or No)
  • If so, were deductions made from all, ½ or more, part but less than 1/2, of wages or salary?
  • Usual Occupation:
  • Usual industry
  • Usual Class of worker
  • Has this woman been married more than once? (Yes or No)
  • Age at first marriage
  • Number of children ever born (Do not include stillbirths)

Written By Marty Wyatt

Direct quotes as well as paraphrasing created this document from information derived from the following;

Birth Death Analysis

Spread the love

An Early Birth Death Analysis of Rockcastle County Ky

Click Image to Enlarge

Lindsey Cook, Rockcastle County, Birth Death Analysis
Scaffold Cane Cemetery, Rockcastle County

Birth Death Analysis

By Linda Ashley

This is a little Birth Death analysis I made of death certificates in Rockcastle County from 1915. We can compare that to what might be expected today.

Birth Death Analysis in Rockcastle County, KY, 1915

I was interested in learning the causes of death in Rockcastle County, Ky, in 1915. We often hear “Why is there so much cancer today?” and “Why are there so many heart attacks?” Of course, the answer to that is that so many things that people used to die of have been controlled, that there are fewer things left to take us. To confirm that, I have made an analysis of the causes of death exactly one hundred years ago, in 1915.

There are 155 death certificates for Rockcastle County that year. We can assume there are deaths for whom there is no certificate, and so they won’t be included here. One reason is that the requirement that there be a death certificate recorded for each death was only four years old, having gone into effect in 1911. Some people were not aware that they were required, and since there was often no doctor in attendance, the death was never recorded.

This is particularly true for newborns and children. Secondly, even if they were aware, if no doctor was in attendance, often the relatives or neighbors who cared for the individual and buried the body, just didn’t get around to reporting the death to the appropriate office. I have also discovered in previous research that in the case of a homicide, for example, where the person was dead when the sheriff or police arrived, then no doctor was called and no one reported the death to the clerk. I have found such deaths reported in the newspapers, but no corresponding death certificate. I have tallied the deaths by cause of death and by age.

Leading Death Cause, Tuberculosis

The leading cause of death in Rockcastle County, and in Kentucky in general, was tuberculosis. There were twenty-two deaths from TB. There were two children under 5 years old, one between 5 and 12, four between 12 and 21, thirteen between 21 and 50, and one between 50 and 70 and one over 70.

Those of us old enough to remember when TB was prevalent, recall that there were “TB families.” That was, of course, because it was so communicable. Since children often lived in the home where an adult had the disease, they often got it themselves, so seven people under the age of 21 died of TB in 1915.

The largest group, thirteen, died between 21 and 50 years of age. Some of those may have had the disease for some years and finally succumbed to it. Contracting the disease was so easy and it was so deadly, it was less likely for someone to get it past the age 50 and die of it, so only one between 50 and 70 and one over 70 did so. 

We can remember the national and state campaigns to eradicate the disease. There were testing days when the health department tested hundreds of people. If one tested positive, then they were sent to TB “sanitariums” or hospitals, such as the one in London, until it was safe for them to rejoin their families. That very quickly ended the “TB families” situation.

Eventually better treatments ended that necessity and closed the hospitals, and essentially ended TB. There have been outbreaks associated with drugs and HIV, but there has not been the threat we all knew before the 1950’s.

Age Impact

The largest number of recorded deaths per age group was for newborns and up to one year of age for a total of 42. The second leading cause of death in the county in the year was stillbirth, which is included in that group of 42. It is not clear how many of those we would call miscarriages now, but probably not many, as most people would not have reported a miscarriage. These are likely children who were full or near term, but who did not survive birth. There were 18 of those reported.

Childbirth was risky business then, and it is remarkable that only 3 mothers (all over the age of 21) are reported to have died of childbirth in 1915. In addition to the 18 children who were called stillborn, another 8 are listed as having died of “premature birth.” Again, some of those could have been miscarriages, or could have been stillborn but obviously too early, but it appears that most were children who actually were born alive but died because of prematurity. So 26 newborns died before or soon after birth.

In addition to the 26 who died near birth, there were a total of 16 other children who died before their 1st birthday. We can hardly imagine that today. Their causes of death were 1 of croup, 6 of digestive/dysentery complaints, 2 of meningitis, 1 of pneumonia or influenza. 1 of suffocation, and 5 for whom the cause of death was undetermined.

For 2 of those, the doctor specifically said the conditions were unhygienic and 2 mentioned malnutrition. Of course, there were no social programs to assist families or check on the children at the time.

Other Leading Causes

Twenty-four children between the ages of 1 and 5 died that year. Of those, 2 are listed as accidents, 1 as appendicitis, 2 of croup, 4 of digestive/dysentery, 1 of diphtheria, 1 of food poisoning, 1 of meningitis, 4 of pneumonia/influenza, 2 were mentioned above with TB, 4 undetermined, and 2 of whooping cough. The immunizations our children receive today would likely have prevented the deaths by diphtheria and whooping cough and perhaps pneumonia/influenza.

The 4 of digestive complaints might have included more cases of food poisoning. After one year, children began eating with the family, but had not built up immunity. “Summer complaint” and “second year sickness” were common, and were usually associated with improperly stored food. Refrigeration, properly canned food, and more choices for children’s foods, along with better hygiene, have all helped cut this number. Again, to have 24 children under 5 die in a small population would be unheard of today.

Age Impact

As we would expect, the largest number of people who died were over 70 years of age. Of those, 2 died of accidents, 3 of apoplexy or stroke, 1 of arteriosclerosis, 2 of cancer, 2 of digestive/dysentery, 4 of heart disease, 1 of infection/gangrene, 1 of old age (unspecified), and 9 of pneumonia/influenza.

I remember my mother saying if an old person would get through March, then they felt safe until the next winter. That was because pneumonia and influenza was the leading killer of the elderly. Those are still dangerous, but antibiotics and other treatments, as well as immunizations, have cut the risk for those diseases.

The 1 who died of gangrene would likely have lived today, but that was before antibiotics. Of the others, cancer, stroke, and heart disease are still leading causes of death. 

Of those between 50 and 70 years of age, 1 died of apoplexy/stroke (still a leading cause of death, but less likely in this age range today because of better prevention of high blood pressure and cholesterol),

1 of asthma, 3 of cancer (perhaps a similar percentage of death in the age range today, but more cases from which people do not died because of better treatments and the likelihood that people will have cancer today because they have not previously died of other diseases),

1 of diabetes, 1 heart disease, 3 of pneumonia/influenza, and one of rheumatism. (This could refer to rheumatic fever, rather than arthritis.) 

Other Statistics

There were only 2 homicides for whom there was a death certificate. However, there were likely more deaths of that cause, but, as explained above, they were not always reported to the clerk.

Besides the one person over 70 who died of infection/gangrene, there was 1 between 12 and 21. Six people, from age 5 to 50, died of typhoid. We rarely hear of typhoid today, thanks to immunizations. In addition, 1 person, age 21 to 50 died of tetanus (lock jaw), 3 children under 12 years of age of whooping cough and 1 under 5 of diphtheria.

Those who refuse to immunize their children don’t know this history. This was actually a light year, as there were sometimes epidemics of typhoid, whooping cough, and diphtheria.

The population of Rockcastle County in 1915 was about 15,000.

Linda Ashley, Author 2018

Birth Death Analysis


Early Divorce in Kentucky

Spread the love

The Divorce in Kentucky Part 1

Click Image to Enlarge

Early Divorce in Kentucky

Cartoon parodying the circus-like divorce proceedings of Anna Gould (an American heiress and socialite) and Boni de Castellanein 1906 

Early Divorce in Kentucky

Divorce action was not unknown in early Kentucky, but it was infrequent. The Commonwealth stipulated that the Legislature, or General Assembly, was the only route to dissolution of marriage, through a special law for that specific purpose. Many early states faced the same burden, Kentucky taking her direction from mother-state Virginia. The original Kentucky constitution did not address divorce directly, partly due to pressures from ministers, and partly due to lack of vision, not recognizing the need for such measure.

Certainly, divorce was rare in early Kentucky, but the main reason was the difficulty in obtaining one. The concerned parties had to hire an attorney to apply for an act of the Legislature; the bill had to be drafted, a member of the Assembly had to introduce the bill and arguments had to be presented, showing the true need for divorce. Generally the act was passed, for if the bill was introduced, the action was nearly assured. A long and arduous process.

Reasons for Divorce

The only acceptable reason for divorce at the time was adultery. Some divorces were also granted upon the proven charges of cruelty or abandonment. Substantial proof had to be gathered and witnesses deposed before any actions could be taken. Only after such evidences could be obtained could a legislator be approached to introduce the bill. The more political, or financial, influence that could be mustered, the more likely the divorce would materialize.

An Act was passed on 31 January 1809 that gave the Circuit Court authority to grant divorces on certain grounds. The Kentucky Court of Appeals soon ruled that Circuit Courts had no jurisdiction except by Statute. So, for a number of years there were two avenues to be taken in obtaining a divorce—1) by legislative act, if both parties requested it; or 2) by filing a civil suit in the plaintiff’s Circuit Court. In some cases, the Legislature would refer a case for divorce to Circuit Court for legal expedition.

1840 Convention

The issue of legislative marriage dissolution came to a head in the late 1840s when, with the convening of the Legislature at Frankfort, the town would fill up with those seeking a special act to end the matrimonial bond. When the General Assembly met in 1848, one legislator described the session as more of a ‘court of divorcement’ than a meeting of lawmakers. The town, normally filled to near-overflowing during annual sessions, was more crowded due to those women, men and attorneys seeking special act for divorce. Ultimately, over 300 divorce acts were heard by the 1848 lawmakers.

The tide was stemmed as a result of a change in Kentucky’s Constitution. A convention to amend or re-adopt the Constitution was convened in January 1849. The following October, 1849, delegates met at Frankfort to reorder the general laws of the land. A change was made in the new Constitution that took the ‘act of divorce’ from the hands of the General Assembly:

‘The General Assembly shall have no power to grant divorce, to change the names of individuals, or direct the sales of estates belonging to infants, or other persons laboring under legal disabilities, by special legislation; but by general laws shall confer such powers on the courts of justice.’

So, with the Kentucky Constitutional Convention of 1849, the jurisdiction of the Legislature to grant divorces was taken away; all such actions would henceforth be within the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court. In 1972 the designation “divorce” was changed to “dissolution of marriage.”

Michael C. Watson, 2015

Early Divorce in Kentucky

Wiley Watkins Deposition

Spread the love

Wiley Wellington Watkins Deposition, April 16, 1869

Wiley Wellington Watkins Deposition, April 16, 1869

Ulysses Grant, Courtesy
The  Library of Congress,

The Deposition of Wiley Wellington Watkins, April 16, 1869

In the 1868 election, Republican Ulysses S Grant defeated Democrat Horatio Seymour of New York. Though the popular vote was relatively close, Grant decisively won in the electoral vote count. Kentucky went for Seymour. In the Kentucky 8th congressional district race for the U.S. House of Representatives (which included Laurel County in the nineteen counties of this congressional district at the time), Democrat George Adams was re-elected in his race against Republican Sidney Barnes. Barnes contested the outcome of the election and filed suit claiming voting irregularities in many voting precincts. Included in the contested precincts was the McHargue Precinct in Laurel County. My great-great grandfather, Wiley Wellington Watkins (1814-1896), was the precinct clerk and was one of many voting officials in the 8th district deposed as part of this suit.

Adams prevailed in this contested election. This legal case was recorded in the “MISCELLANEOUS DOCUMENTS of the HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES FOR THE SECOND SESSION OF THE FORTY-FIRST CONGRESS, 1869-70”. Several Laurel County voting officials were deposed and their depositions were recorded in this publication. The publication is part of the public domain, has been digitized and is available on-line and easily accessible using the advanced search methods of Google books search engine.

The court records give insight into the passions of the era shortly after the Civil War.  The “radicals” referred to in the testimony are the faction of the Republican Party that Grant belonged to that advocated a strong reconstruction platform.  Democrats were anti-reconstruction and advocated states rights.  Watkins’ deposition allows us an insight into his personality and political leanings that were heretofore unknown.  The following is a transcription of his testimony.

Submitted by:
Mark Anderson Watkins
Wadsworth, Ohio
December 14, 2009
mark@watty.com

The link to Google Books is here for the full Congressional Series Set containing the Court Case.

The deposition of Wiley W. Watkins, taken at the court-house, in the town of Manchester, Clay County, Kentucky, on Friday, the 23rd day of April, 1869, to be read as evidence for contested in the matter of contest pending and undetermined in the forty-first Congress of the United States between Sidney M. Barnes, contestant, and George M. Adams, contestee.

By contestee Adams:

Question. State your age, your place of residence, and the voting precinct in which reside and vote. —

Answer. I am nearly fifty-five years old. I reside in Laurel County, Kentucky. I reside and vote in the McHargue precinct, in said county.

Question. State the names of the officers of the election in the McHargue precinct, at the November election, 1868. Also state the politics of each of said officers at and before said election, and state how each of said officers voted in said election.

(Contestant Barnes excepts and objects to the taking of the deposition of Wiley W. Watkins, and all other depositions taken or to be taken at this place by contestee, because contestee Adams has not served contestant Barnes with a legal notice of the time and place of the taking of said deposition; and because contestant Barnes, on the 10th day of April, 1869, and previous to the notice of contestee to take deposition at this place, served contestee with a legal notice to take depositions in the town of Somerset, Pulaski County, Kentucky, to commence on the 20th day of April, 1869, and continue from day-to-day until the 26th day of April, 1869 ; and because the taking of the depositions at this place, as above stated, is at the court-house in the town of Manchester, Clay County, Kentucky, and sixty or seventy miles from Somerset, Kentucky, where contestant is now taking depositions under the notice served on contestee, on the 10th ‘lay of April, 1869 ; and because contestant is not present, and has no opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses; and because the evidence to be taken at this place, under contestee’s pretended notice, is illegal and incompetent evidence.—S. M. Barns, by his attorney, Clark.)

Answer. Larkin Jackson and Edward Hopkins were the judges, James McHargue was the sheriff, and I myself, Wiley W. Watkins, was the clerk. Jackson, Hopkins, and McHargue were all radicals, and at said election voted the Grant ticket for President, and Barnes for Congress. I am a Democrat and voted the Seymour ticket for President, and Adams for Congress.

Question. Give the names of several persons who were Democrats and voters residing in said precinct at and before the November election, 1868.

Answer. Hugh Elliott, Charles Kirby, Jonas Ohler, John Humphleet, George Taylor, and others I could name if necessary.

Question. Please state whether or not any certificate of any kind was appended to said poll-book and signed by the officers of said election; and if so, state whether the same was written on the poll-book itself, or on a separate piece of paper and attached to the poll-book by wafers or otherwise. State the facts.

(Contestant Barnes excepts and objects to the above and last question propounded to the witness, because the evidence attempted to be elicited is secondary in its character and not the best evidence, and is illegal and incompetent evidence.—S. M. Barnes, by his attorney, Clark.)

Answer. There was no certificate written on the poll-book, nor on a separate piece of paper and attached to the poll-book by wafers or any other way.

Question. Are your certain of this?

Answer. I am.

Question. Do you know how wafers came to be upon the poll-book when it was returned to the clerk’s office? If so, please explain.

Answer. I know the poll-book was folded up and wafers was stuck on the poll-book to seal it together; outside of the poll-book was a piece of paper put around the poll-book, and it sealed with wafers. That is the condition it was in when it was delivered to the sheriff.

Question. Do you remember what oath was administered to the officers of said election before they entered on the discharge of their duties as such? and if so, please state the terms of said oath.

(Contestant Barnes excepts and objects to the above and foregoing question propounded to the witness, because the matters and things attempted to be elicited are not relied on by contestee Adams in his answer to Contestant’s notice of contest, and because the same is illegal and incompetent evidence.—S. M. Barnes, by his attorney, Clark.)

Answer. The oath was for us to conduct the election according to law, was about the terms of the oath.

Question. Was that all the oath?

Answer. That was all of the oath.

Question. Are you certain of this? If so, state why you are certain.—

Answer. I am certain because we had no book to take the oath out of. We just held up our right hands and took the oath I have mentioned.

Question. Are you or not certain that the oath administered to said officers contained nothing about supporting the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Kentucky, or about having been engaged in sending or accepting a challenge to fight a duel?

(Contestant Barnes excepts and objects to each and all of the above and foregoing answers and questions in regard to the officers of the election being sworn, and the terms of the oath, and what the oath administered contained, because the same is not relied on by contestee Adams, and because the last above named question is leading, and suggests to the witness the answer desired, and because each and all of the above and foregoing questions and answers are illegal and incompetent evidence.—S. M. BARNES, by his attorney, Clark.)

Answer. I am certain the oath contained nothing of the sort.

Question. State whether you have ever held any offices by an election of the people of your county. If so, what offices, and state how long and when you held the same.

Answer. I held the office of constable in my district, I suppose about ten years. A portion of the time I was appointed by the county court, and a portion of the time elected by the voice of the people. I was constable when the war begun, and held it for some time afterwards.

Question. Are you or not acquainted with John F. Young, who resides and votes in the Raccoon precinct, in Laurel County, and do you know, either of your own knowledge or from general reputation in the neighborhood in which he lives, what party, during the war, the said Young adhered to and belonged to and acted with—Union, Democrat, or rebel? if so, please state.

(Contestant Barnes excepts and objects to the above and foregoing question, because the matters and things attempted to be elicited, is illegal and incompetent evidence, and secondary in its character.—S. M. Barnes, by his attorney, Clark.)

Answer. I am well acquainted with the said John F. Young; I do not, of my own knowledge, know what party he acted with during the war; but from general reputation, he was a rebel; John F. Young stated in my presence that he was a rebel, but whether it was during the war or since I don’t remember.

Question. State where the election in November, 1868, was held in the McHargue precinct.

Answer. It was held in a workshop, called Henderson’s workshop at McHargue’s ; I suppose the workshop is about eighty yards distant from the McHargue dwelling-house, and on the opposite side of the road.

Question. State whether or not the officers of election met that day at the dwelling-house of William McHargue, and from there adjourned the election to the workshop, and whether or not any public proclamation was made of the change?

Answer. They met at the dwelling-house and made no adjournment from there to the workshop that I know anything about; there was no public proclamation of the change made either at the dwelling-house or at the shop.

Cross-examined by contestant BARNES:

Question. You-have stated in your direct examination, that John F. Young, who was clerk of the election at the Raccoon precinct, in Laurel county, at the November election, 1868, said in your presence he was a rebel; how far did you live from said Young during the war, and how far do you live from him now?

Answer. In time of the war I lived about ten or eleven miles from where he lived; and I now live about the same distance from him.

Question. Was said Young ever in the rebel army, or does general reputation say that he ever belonged to said army?

Answer. If he was ever in the rebel army I don’t know it; and general reputation don’t say that he ever was.

Question. Was or not said Young during and since the war, a peaceable and quiet citizen?

Answer. Yes, sir; he was, so far as I know.

Question. Do you know, of your own knowledge, that said Young was clerk of the election at the Raccoon precinct, in Laurel County, at the November election, 1868?

Answer. I do not.

Question. Do you know who was the county judge of Laurel County at and before the November election, 1868? if so, please state who he was, and to what political party he belonged and adhered to, at and before the November election, 1868, and for whom did he vote at said election.

Answer. William T. Mooren was county judge; and belonged to the radical party at and before said election; don’t know how he voted at the November election, 1868.

Question. You have stated that the officers of the election, at the McHargue precinct, were only sworn to hold the election according to law at the November election, 1868; now please state whether or not you remember the precise words that were used when you and the other officers of said election were sworn as officers of said election.

Answer. I don’t know that I remember the precise words, but I remember pretty near the precise words, I think.

Question. Did you or not, as one of the officers of said election, feel yourself bound under the oath which you took at said election, to hold said election according to law ; and did you or not. together with the other officers of said election, discharge your duties as officers of said election under the oath which you took, to the best of your ability; and was or not said election fairly held, and free for all who desired to vote who were legal voters at said precinct?

Answer. I felt myself bound, under the oath which I took, to hold said election according to law; the vote that was taken at said election was taken freely and fairly.

Question. Was the place where the election at the McHargue precinct was held at the November election, 1868, in sight of the McHargue house?

Answer. Yes, sir; it was in plain view of McHargue’s house.

Question. Do you believe that any voter of said precinct who desired to vote, was deprived of voting at said election on account of said election being held where it was, instead of at the McHargue house ?

Answer. I don’t believe that they were.

By contestee Adams:

Q. State whether your duties, as constable, frequently took you, during the war, into John F. Young’s neighborhood?

Answer. Yes, sir; I was there during the war several times.

By contestant Barnes:

Question. For whom did said Young vote, at the November election, 1868?

Answer. I don’t know who he voted for.

Question. Does he or not claim to be a Democrat, and claim to belong to that party?

Answer. I think he claims to belong to that party; and further saith not.

WILEY W. WATKINS,
One day and forty miles.


{Did you know? Clay County was at one time a powerhouse of wealth due to the counties huge salt production?} Salt was vital before refrigeration to ensure food could be preserved with the mineral. Clay County was fortunate with the presence of bountiful salt wells.