In the U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 2 states “Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several states which may be included within this Union according to their respective numbers…”.The first enumeration of the US population occurred in 1790. Every ten years, a Census must be conducted but the information gathered has varied over time.
The US Census is so valuable in genealogical research because it helps piece together generations of a family by tracking someone backwards/forwards to find parents/children (spouses are complicated because the Census doesn’t list maiden names) and even earlier; e.g. I found my grandfather, John R. Bloom, in a Pine Bluff household on the 1920 US Census and the 1930 US Census with Emma Marie (Block) and was able to find him in 1900 with Charles & Grace Bloom on the 1900 US Census.
7th Enumeration – 1850 US Census (see more)
The 1850 Census was the first enumeration to ask the name of every person in the household; nevertheless the relationships between these individuals was not documented.
The first ancestor of ours (who I’ve found) to appear on a US Census (1850) was Solomon G.Rhine, my 2x great grandfather; he was twenty one years old and residing in a boarding house in Memphis, Tennessee.
8th Enumeration – 1860 US Census (see more)
The 1860 US Census was the first to give the enumerators printed instructions which helped improve the accuracy.
Block’s (Camden, Ark.) and Bloom’s (Pine Bluff, Ark) were found on the 1860 Census.
9th Enumeration – 1870 US Census (see more)
There was a large population of Chinese who had been used as laborers on the Transcontinental railroad and there was xenophobia in the country. This was the only Census to ask if a household member was Chinese (other selections were White, Black,Mulatto and Indian)
Block’s (Camden, Ark.) and Bloom’s (Pine Bluff, Ark) were found on the 1870 Census.
10th Enumeration – 1880 US Census (see more)
The 1880 Census was the first U.S. Census to record the relationship between household members and the head of household. Thirty-eight states were enumerated in the 1880 census, plus the territories of: Arizona, Dakota, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Non-organized Alaska was also enumerated, but the “Indian Territory” (now Oklahoma) was not enumerated for non-Indians.
Block’s (New Orleans, La.) and Marx’s (Pappy’s mother’s family) were found on the 1880 Census.
11th Enumeration – 1890 US Census (see more)
The 1890 Census was destroyed by fire in 1921 so there’s no information available about individuals who were enumerated.
12h Enumeration – 1900 US Census (see more)
Block’s (in Dallas, Tx, Waco, Tx. & St Louis, Mo), Bloom’s (in Pine Bluff, Ark), and Scharff’s (in Jennings, La) were found on the 1900 US Census
13th Enumeration – 1910 US Census (see more)
Block’s (Dallas, Tx. St Louis, Mo & Chicago, Il), Bloom’s (in Pine Bluff, Ark) and Scharff’s (in Matagorda, Tx) were found on the 1910 Census.
14h Enumeration – 1920 US Census (see more)
Block’s (in Little Rock, Ark., Dallas, Tx & St Louis, Mo, Los Angeles, Ca), Bloom’s (in Pine Bluff, Ark), Ghertner’s (in Nashville, Tn.) and Scharff’s (in Houston, Tx.) were found on the 1920 US Census
15th Enumeration – 1930 US Census (see more)
The 1930 Census asked if the household owned a radio.
Block’s (in Little Rock, Ark, Dallas, Tx. & St Louis, Mo), Bloom’s (in Pine Bluff, Ark), Ghertner’s (in Nashville, Tn.) and Scharff’s (in Houston, Tx.) were found on the 1930 US Census.
16h Enumeration – 1940 US Census (see more)
After the Great Depression was mainly over,the 1940 Census expanded to 50 questions and asked about employment status of individuals over 14, ‘usual’ occupation (vs. work in a New Deal program) and this was the first census to ask if women had had more than one marriage.
The 1940 Census became available on 2 April 2012 (there is a 72 year privacy period this this information).
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