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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 census included four new questions: one asking the year of naturalization and three about mother tongue.

Because of the changes in some 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 the enumerators did not require that individuals spell out their names. Enumerators wrote down the information given to them; they were not authorized to request proof of age, date of arrival, or other information. People were known to change their ages between censuses, and some people claimed not to know their age. The race determination was based on the enumerator's impressions. 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 enumeration was taken. Enumerators were also to ask if any family members were temporarily absent; if so, these were to be listed either with the household or on the last schedule for the census subdivision. Thus, the user should always check that page. The answers that appear on the microfilmed schedules depend upon what the enumerator recorded and what the people interviewed told the enumerator.

1940 Census Data: 16th United States Census

The microfilm may also show code numbers or letters in some of the columns. Clerks added these codes in red ink which cannot be distinguished on the microfilm after the census, to be punched into the cards used to tabulate the census results. The codes usually represent household composition, occupation and class of worker, or simply marks made in the coding, punching, or tabulating operations themselves and should be ignored. The Bureau of the Census created and filmed Soundex index cards for the entire census.

The Soundex is a coded surname last name index based on the way a surname sounds rather than how it is spelled. The Soundex coding system was developed to find a surname even though it may have been recorded under various spellings. The National Archives has assigned a separate microfilm publication for each state and territory.

The Bureau of the Census used two separate Soundex cards, the "family card" and the "individual card. The individual card gives the names of people other than those in the immediate household husband, wife, son, daughter that are enumerated with a family. These include grandparents, cousins, boarders, and servants. The card also shows the name of the head of the household or the institution name where the person is living.

The information on the Soundex card includes the surname, first name, state and county of residence, city if appropriate , age, place of birth, and whether a U. Each card also lists the volume, enumeration district, sheet number, and line number where the person can be found on the population schedule. Every Soundex code consists of a letter and three numbers, such as S The letter is always the first letter of the surname, whether it is a vowel or a consonant. Disregard the remaining vowels and W, Y, and H and assign numbers to the next three consonants of the surname according to the Soundex coding guide.

California Census Records - California Genealogy

If there are not three consonants following the initial letter, use zeros to fill out the three-digit code. Most surnames can be coded using the Soundex coding guide. Names with prefixes, double letters, or letters side by side that have the same number of the Soundex coding system are described below. If the surname has a prefix, such as van, Von, De, Di, or Le, code it both with and without the prefix because it might be listed under either code.

The surname vanDevanter, for example, could be V or D If the surname has any double letters, they should be treated as one letter. Thus, in the surname Lloyd, the second L should be crossed out, in the surname Gutierrez, the second R should be crossed out. These letters should be treated as one letter. Thus in the name Pfister, F should be crossed out; in the name Jackson, K and S should be crossed out. The EDs and visitation numbers, however, remain in the correct numerical order.

If you initially cannot find a person listed, the card may be out of order. If the person is not where he or she is listed to be, it may be necessary to read the entire page of the schedule, the entire enumeration district, or the entire county. In that case, it may be necessary to read the entire county. Census schedules are arranged by state or territory, thereunder by county, and beginning in by enumeration district ED. EDs were the areas that an enumerator covered in taking the census.

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To consult the schedules for a particular town, a minor civil division or geographical area, or a ward of a large city, one must know the enumeration district. National Archives Microfilm Publication T describes ED boundaries as they were in ; present-day boundaries may not be the same. Rolls of Descriptions of Census Enumeration Districts, and T identify the enumeration district number assigned within the state, county, and city for the census.

The descriptions are arranged alphabetically by state and thereunder by supervisor's district, which is a large geographic area that covers several counties. The descriptions are then arranged by county and thereunder by township or city. The ED is listed on the left-hand side of the page. Our Community Norms as well as good scientific practices expect that proper credit is given via citation. Please use the data citation above, generated by the Dataverse.


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