When it comes to genealogy research, census records can give you the most details about a person and their family than any other record and can give you a snapshot of how they were living at a particular time; after starting with what you know now, the first step in genealogy research, the census records are the best starting point in your next step of research. They offer a plethora of information that will start you off and lead you to many of your next steps. Not only can you find the standard information on your ancestor like their name, age, birthplace, and residence; you can find so much more! Depending on the census record, you can also find their address, their occupation, their parents’ birthplaces, their citizenship status, their year of immigration, their marriage info, their military service info, how many children they have, others living in the household and their info, the value of their home and personal belongings, and more!
This is a continuing series that will be focusing on the 1850 to 1950 U.S. Federal Census records, and today’s topic is the 1900 Census.
The 1900 U.S. Census: This was the sixth U.S. Census that listed EVERY household member by name and had detailed categories. Just as in the 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 Censuses that I previously spoke about, it was enumerated starting on June 1st. It was also the first and only census to provide the month and year of birth of everyone in the household!
The 1900 census had some very new and EXTREMELY useful categories that can help you in your genealogy research! This census record had many of the same categories and details as the 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880 censuses such as including ALL household members’ names; their ages, sex, color, and place of birth; occupation information; whether any of the household members attended school or were married; and literacy information, but now with some more details added to some of the categories; some new categories; and some details and categories taken out. I am not including the 1890 Census information that I spoke about last in The 1890 U.S. Census: A Tragic and Sad Loss!, as we didn’t get to use it. 😉
There were no longer details about being deaf/mute, blind, insane or “idiotic” (underdeveloped mentally) or if they were sick on the census day, as they had in the 1880 Census, and the “color” detail was now changed to “color or race”. The “Civil Condition” category was removed, along with the “Health” category. Don’t fret about the civil condition category being removed, the details from this category were now included in the “Personal Description” category! There were also no other categories or details brought back that had been previously removed from the other censuses.
Some of the new categories or changed/combined categories for this census were “Location”, “Citizenship”, and “Ownership of Home”.
Don’t worry about missing out on clues from the details or categories that were no longer given; this census had much more useful info to gather that was not on any of the censuses beforehand! The 1900 U.S. Census had now included many firsts! It included much more detailed categories and information such as the month of birth of everyone in the household, as mentioned above; the year of birth for all household members; how many years married for the present marriage; how many children born to the mother and how many of those children were still living at the time of the census (first asked in the 1890 Census, but first time we get to use it 😉); naturalization; year of immigration to the U.S.; how many years they were in the U.S. (first asked in the 1890 Census, but first time we get to use it 😉); whether they lived on a farm or in a house (first asked in the 1890 Census, but first time we get to use it 😉); if they owned or rented their home (first asked in the 1890 Census, but first time we get to use it 😉); if they mortgaged their home or if it was free of mortgage (first asked in the 1890 Census, but first time we get to use it 😉); and the farm schedule number if they lived on a farm!
Use the data on this census to discover previously unknown children and as a starting point in helping you locate immigration records for your ancestors! 😉
As previously mentioned, depending on where and by whom the census was taken, I usually don’t find this census filled out consistently, and some of the categories are underreported, but if it is, then you have a lot of details to help you in your research! EVERY detail/clue helps in genealogy! 😉
Find my other posts on the U.S. Census records below, and under the Genealogy Records category!
The 1920 U.S. Census Record in Genealogy: A Closer Look
The 1910 U.S. Census Record in Genealogy: A Closer Look
The 1890 U.S. Census: A Tragic and Sad Loss!
The 1880 U.S. Census: A Closer Look at the Even Better Census!
The 1870 U.S. Census: A Closer Look
The 1860 U.S. Census: A Closer Look
The 1850 U.S. Census: One of the Golden Genealogy Records
Check out more information about the U.S. Census on the United States Census Bureau website!
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