Saturday, May 5, 2012

Observations While Indexing the 1940 U.S. Census

I've transcribed only about a dozen pages in the census, mostly in Ohio. I've noticed two interesting differences between then and now:
  • Many families had lodgers, sometimes one, sometimes several. Not so these days.
  • Extended family members often lived together. Relationships to head of household that I noticed included parents, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, fathers-in law, mothers-in-law, and one uncle.
Many families had many people living in the same home. It caused me to wonder how large the homes were.

What interesting things have you noticed while indexing the 1940 U.S. Census?


  1. I noticed the things you mentioned but mainly the awful handwriting of the ennumerators! i've done about 50 pages, mostly in alabama.

  2. Some blogger a month or so ago posted three different handwriting charts which census takers may have used. It was beautiful handwriting. I commented that it was unfortunate that the enumerators seemed not to have practiced! I agree about the handwriting--some is almost illegible.


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