Overview of the 1930 Census
The 1930 census data is a great place to start. It was taken beginning on April 2, 1930, except for the Alaska census, which began early, on October 1, 1929. Fifty-six states and territories were enumerated and marked according to counties within those states and territories. Each county was given a number according to alphabetical order and then given more specific identification numbers within that county. For example, a county might be marked 1-1 or 10-73. The Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa and the Canal Zone were not subjected to this system of numbering.
Like the censuses that came before it, the 1930 census covered names, ages, races, relationships, house numbers and streets of residence. It also included information on home ownership or rental, literacy and schooling, employment information, citizenship and immigration information and birthplaces of residents and their parents.
Unique Features of the 1930 Census
Age at First Marriage – A question that was new to the 1930 census that is useful to genealogy research was the age of the person at their first marriage. This information can be cross referenced with other records to gain more useful information about the family.
– Although some the family status of some people may have changed during the year, they were expected to list their status as of the day that the census began. For example, if a child was born in Alaska after October 1, 1929, he or she should not be listed on the 1930 census.
Historical Considerations of the 1930 Census
Effects of World War I – Due to boundary changes that occurred during World War I, some people weren’t sure how to record their country of origin because the status of the country had changed. Countries that were affected by the boundary issue were Austria-Hungary, Germany, Russia, Turkey and Bulgaria. Enumerators were instructed to write down the city, state, province or region of birth for the resident or their parents if the resident or their parents were born in any of the effected countries.
Native Americans – The 1930 census listed Native American (referred to as “Indian”) inhabitants of reservations within the schedules for the general population. However, each Native American’s parental records were recorded differently. On the mother’s side, tribe was recorded. On the father’s side, degree of Indian blood was recorded.
States Covered in the 1930 Census
The areas covered in the 1930 census were: Alabama, Alaska Territory, American Samoa, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Consular Service, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii Territory, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Idaho, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Panama Canal Zone, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
1930 Census Resources
The original schedules for the 1930 census were destroyed. Therefore, only the microfilm exists for research purposes. Some of the microfilm images do have defects and may not be entirely legible.
You can also visit the following resources for additional information: