Each census is unique. The questions asked varied from census to census. The early census records have no information beyond the head of household. In 1850, the names of other household members were included. And, in 1880 census, the relationships of those members were given. With each census, the information recorded was changed to reflect the times. Here’s a run down on the categories and their definitions. Below is the information recorded by enumerators in the 1930 census.
Place of Abode: Street, address, # of dwelling, # of family (dwelling and family number is the order of visitation by the enumerator)
Name: Name of each person in this home as of 1 April 1930
Relation: Relationship to head of household
Home Data: Owned or rented, value of home or monthly rent, did they own a radio set, does family own a farm
Personal Description: Sex, race, age at last birthday, marital status, age at first marriage
Education: Attended school/college since 1 Sep 1929, able to read or write
Place of Birth: Birthplace of person, father, mother
Mother Tongue: Language spoken at home before coming to the US (only recorded if individual was foreign born)
Citizenship: Year of immigration to the US, whether naturalized, able to speak English
Occupation and Industry: Profession, industry, class of worker
Employment: Worked yesterday
Veterans: Whether a veteran, in which war or expedition
Farm Schedule: # of schedule family was recorded on (the farm schedules no longer exist)
Code: There are two “code” categories on the census sheet. These were for office use only as codes for other columns and contained no new information.
© 2002 Melody Lassalle