Just a recap for this series on the U.S. Federal Census records in 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 1890 Census.
The 1890 U.S. Census: This was the fifth U.S. Census that listed EVERY household member by name and had detailed categories, unlike the 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880 censuses, it was enumerated starting on June 2nd, because June 1st was a Sunday. Most of the census' population schedules were badly damaged by a fire in the Commerce Department Building in January 1921, and the rest (thought to be) were destroyed by Department of Commerce in 1934. There are a few remaining bits of the 1890 census here and there, that were found in 1942 and some more in 1953, but only for about 6,000 people or so.
This census had a great amount of information taken; too bad it was lost. It asked for each person’s full Christian name, along with their middle initial; whether they were a soldier, sailor, or marine during the Civil War, or widow of; their relationship to head of household; 3 new race details of Quadroon (1/4 African descent & 3/4 European descent ), Octoroon (1/8 African descent & 7/8 European descent), and Japanese; sex; age, and month if born within year; whether single, married, widowed or divorced; if married during the year; mother of how many children and how many living; place of birth and parents’ birthplaces; number of years in U.S.; if naturalized; if naturalization papers had been taken out; occupation; how many months unemployed during the year; if attended school during the year; if able to read and write; whether they could speak English, and if not, then the language spoken; whether they were suffering from any acute or chronic disease, with the name and length of time of the disease; whether they were defective in mind, sight, hearing, speech; whether they were crippled, maimed or deformed, with name of deformity; and whether they were a prisoner, convict, homeless child or a pauper. At the bottom was a section indicating that a special schedule was filled out, depending on how some of the questions were answered. If the family lived on a farm, there were additional questions such as if the home they lived in was rented or owned by the head or someone in the family; if the home was owned, then if it was free from mortgage; if the head of household was a farmer, then the same questions were asked about the farm; and lastly, if either were owned, then the address of each.
This census had a great amount of information taken, and it was the most detailed to date; such a tragic loss.
There are other ways to get around this missing census; check out some of these articles below, from some of my fantastic faves, to see how! 😉
Get Around the Missing 1890 Census, by Ancestry
What Happened to the 1890 Census, and What You Can Use to Fill in Its Blanks, by Ancestral Findings
How To Research Around the 1890 Census Record Loss – Part 1: 1890 Census Fragments, by Lisa Lisson at Are You My Cousin- This is the first in a video series on this topic, where she also teams up with Family History Fanatics
What Happened to the 1890 Census, by Lisa Louise Cook
Follow my other posts on the U.S. Census under the Genealogy Records category and below:
The 1920 U.S. Census Record in Genealogy: A Closer Look
The 1910 U.S. Census Record in Genealogy: A Closer Look
A Closer Look at the 1900 U.S. Census in Genealogy Research
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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