Columbia County in 1900
Columbia County experienced an almost 30% growth spurt from 1900 to 1910. Population grew from 39,896 in 1900 to 48,467 in 1910. Railroads and manufacturing, in addition to the availability of necessary utilities contributed to the steady early 20th century growth.
The 1900 census
Moving our way back through the census records we come to my favorite of all – 1900. There is so much one can learn about one’s ancestors from this particular census. In addition to the person’s age, the month and year of birth are recorded. Some very conscientious enumerators even included the day. The always important ‘number of years in present marriage’ makes its first appearance along with the number of children born to the mother and how many of them are still living. Since the 1890 census for most states was lost to fire, this detailed census of 1900 gets us back in touch with our relatives whom we haven’t seen since 1880.
Information recorded on 1900 census
The 1900 census was enumerated on June 1, 1900. At that time there were forty-five states in the Union. Alaska, Arizona, New Mexico, Hawaii and Oklahoma were enumerated as territories. In the heading were listed the State, Town, City/Township, Enumeration District, Sheet Number and Enumeration Date. It was the Twelfth Census of the United States and contained the following information about each resident:
- Location: In cities – Street, House number; Number of dwelling house in the order of visitation; Number of family in the order of visitation
- Name of each person whose place of abode on June 1, 1900 was in this family. Enter surname first, then the given name and middle initial, if any. Include every person living on June 1, 1900. Omit children born since June 1, 1900.
- Relation: Relationship of each person to the head of the family
- Personal description: Color or race; Sex; Date of birth, Month, Year; Age at last birthday; Whether single, married, widowed, or divorced; Number of years of present marriage; Mother of how many children; Number of these children living
- Nativity: Place of birth of each person and parents of each person enumerated. If born in United States, give state or territory. If foreign birth, give the country
- Citizenship: Year of immigration to the U.S.; Number of years in the U.S.; Naturalization
- Occupation, Trade, or Profession of each person TEN YEARS of age or over; Months not employed
- Education: Attended school (in months); Can read; Can write; Can speak English
- Ownership of Home: Owned or rented; Owned free or mortgaged; Farm or house; Number of farm schedule
Dealing with the twenty-year gap
Note very carefully the number of children born and the number still living. Compare that to the number of children listed with the family in the 1900 census. It is very likely there will be some missing family members because of the absence of an 1890 census. These children would’ve been born in the early 1880’s after the census and would be out on their own in some capacity before 1900. With the aid of the WWI Draft Registration of 1917-1918 and the ‘Old Man’s Registration’ of 1942, some of the men can be located. The best hope for finding the women is to look to the later census records as the parents aged. Many times they moved in with a daughter or son.
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