120 Years Ago – 1900 Federal Census

A great resource is the US Federal Census in 1900. On it all individuals were enumerated on the Twelfth Census of the United States. The names of those listed on the population schedule on the databases for FamilySearch.org and Ancestry. Com, are linked to actual images of the 1900 Federal Census, copied from the National Archives and Records Administration microfilm, T623, 1854 rolls.

Enumerators of the 1900 census were instructed to record the names of every person in the household. Enumerators were asked to include the following categories in the census: name; address; relationship to the head of household; color or race; sex; month and year of birth; age at last birthday; marital status; number of years married; the total number of children born of the mother; the number of those children living; places of birth of each individual and the parents of each individual; if the individual was foreign-born, the year of immigration and the number of years in the United States; the citizenship status of foreign-born individuals over age twenty-one; occupation; whether the person could read, write, and speak English; whether the home was owned or rented; whether the home was on a farm; and whether the home was mortgaged. These various categories allowed Congress to determine persons residing in the United States for collection of taxes and the appropriation of seats in the House of Representatives.

The population schedules (Census) are successive “snapshots” of Americans that depict where and how they were living at particular periods in the past. Because of this, the census is often the best starting point for genealogical research after home sources have been exhausted.

The official enumeration day of the 1900 census was June 1, 1900. So a baby born on July 1st would not be on that census. All questions asked were supposed to refer to that date. By 1900, there were a total of forty-five states in the Union, with Utah being the latest addition and Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, New Mexico, and Oklahoma enumerated as territories.

With the Alaska Territory the tribe and clan were listed, the date of locating to Alaska, of course, one’s occupation and home address. For areas with Native American Indian populations, the Indian name was provided, the tribal name, their percentage of white blood, and their year of citizenship. For the Hawaiian Islands Territory, the questionnaire included the year of immigration and the number of years the person lived on the Hawaiian Islands. If a person was serving in the US military, they provided which branch of the military if they were stationed on a vessel, their company and regiment, their rank and where their home residence was in the U.S.

So there is a good deal of information to be learned from the June 1900 US Federal Census.

Photos: NYC in 1900, ladies in 1900 and Brookhaven, Miss in 1900.

Related FamilyTree.com Blogs:

Posters Illustrate 1900

Did You Try This Approach?

Your Great Grandparents Did What??

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