Columbia County in 1920
The Fourteenth Federal Census was enumerated January 1, 1920. Even though census-takers may have completed their canvass on slightly later dates, the census was to reflect the status as of January 1st. If someone had been alive on that date and since died, he was to be included. Someone born since January 1st and the date of the visit was not to be included. The 1920 census includes all fifty U.S. states and territories, including the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. This is the first time American Samoa, Guam, and the Panama Canal Zone are also included. Columbia County’s population in 1920 was 48,349. It is a rural county in northeast Pennsylvania with two major cities – Bloomsburg and Berwick. For information on determining the Enumeration District for a certain locality in Columbia County, use this form for 1930 and click the link for 1920.
Information collected for the 1920 census
As suggested in previous articles, it is a good idea to have a blank form in front of you for the census you are studying. There is so much to be gleaned from these records, one wouldn’t want to miss anything. In the heading of the 1920 census is the State, County, City/Township, Enumeration District, Sheet Number and Enumeration Date. These are the fields completed for each person enumerated:
- Place of abode: street, avenue, road, etc.; house number or farm; dwelling number; number of family in order of visitation
- Name of person whose abode on January 1, 1920 was in this family
- Relation: relationship of this person to the head of the family
- Tenure: home owned or rented; if owned, free or mortgaged
- Personal description: sex; color or race; age at last birthday; single, married, widowed or divorced
- Citizenship: year of immigration to the United States; naturalized or alien; if naturalized, year of naturalization
- Education: attended school anytime since Sept. 1, 1919; able to read; able to write
- Nativity and Mother Tongue: place of birth of each person and parents of each person enumerated. If born in United States, give the state or territory. If of foreign birth, give the place of birth, and, in addition, the mother tongue.
- Occupation: able to speak English; trade, profession, or particular kind of work done; industry, business, or establishment in which at work; employer, salary or wage worker, or working on own account; no. of farm schedule
This is the only census from 1900-1930 that does not include information about when the person was married. You will need to check 1910 or 1930 census records to calculate that date. When using the 1920 census, keep in mind that the enumeration date was January 1st, not April as it is now. The dates will continue to vary as you step back through the censuses. It matters a lot especially when trying to determine a person’s age or marriage status. Someone born in March of 1920 is not going to appear on this census. Continue to complete your family group sheets and pedigree chart as you work your way through the census records to add leaves to your family tree.
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