Genealogy: 1930 U.S. federal census tutorial

1930 MastheadBy Barry J. Ewell

This is a comprehensive tutorial for researching the 1930 U.S. federal census. You will be introduced to what I have used and shared with thousands to successfully find generations of family. Begin by learning how to use the census as a foundation to effective research, identify, map, and follow family through generations.

The tutorial will expand your knowledge and skills of how to conduct an exhaustive search to find genealogical and Family History records, repositories, resolve research problems and connect with resources researching similar lines.

The tutorial is divided into the following sections:

  • 1790-1940 U.S federal census resources
  • Introduction to 1930 U.S. federal census
  • How to effectively use the 1930 U.S. federal census
  • Expand your census research with military records
  • Defining the U.S. federal census
  • How to use the 1930 U.S. federal census
  • Questions asked on the 1930 census

1930 resourcesClick on any of the following years and you will be taken to that years’ census tutorial


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Genealogy: World War II 1941-1945, Researching and finding military records

Soldier 4By Barry J. Ewell
The following categories and additional resources are provided to aid your research and finding of military records for World War II 1941-1945:

  • World War II Overview
  • Researching World War II military records
    • Build a search profile for each male
    • Where to find the personal information
    • Sample World War II male search profile
  • Search World War II Records
    • World War II Draft
    • Service records
    • Pension records
  • Military history
  • Search the cemetery
  • Search Home

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Genealogy: Researching the Social Security Death Index

Social Secuirty CardBy Barry J. Ewell

The Social Security Act (Act of August 14, 1935) [H. R. 7260] was created as an attempt to limit what was seen as dangers in the modern American life, including old age, poverty, unemployment, and the burdens on widows and fatherless children. By signing this act on August 14, 1935, President Roosevelt became the first president to advocate federal assistance for the elderly. The Act provided benefits to retirees and the unemployed, and a lump-sum benefit at death.

Search the Social Security Death Index
You might want to start by checking out the Social Security Death Index which is available online from a variety of commercial services (usually the search is free). The Death Index contains a listing of persons who had a Social Security number, who are deceased, and whose death was reported to the Social Security Administration. (The information in the Death Index for people who died prior to 1962 is sketchy since SSA’s death information was not automated before that date. Death information for persons who died before 1962 is generally only in the Death Index if the death was actually reported to SSA after 1962, even though the death occurred prior to that year.) Continue reading

Genealogy: 1930 U.S. Census example, John I. Stewart 1850-1930

1930 Census ExampleBy Barry J. Ewell
This article is part of a series that I have developed to help you learn about the wealth of information you can research about each of your ancestors from the U.S. Federal Census.  We will follow John Isaac Stewart from the 1850 to 1930 Census:

  • In 1850 census, John does not appear (born within a few months after census) but we are able to see first view of the James M. Stewart Family
  • In 1860-1870 censuses, John is seen in the household of James M. Stewart
  • In 1880 census, John is shown with the marriage to Panola Owen, daughter of Thomas Allen Own
  • In1880-1920 censuses, John is shown with the growth and decline of his family
  • In 1930 censuses, Panola Owen Stewart is by herself after the death of John between the 1920-1930

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Genealogy: Four-step research strategy for pre-1850 U.S. Federal census

Stepping stonesBy Barry J. Ewell
The 1790 to pre-1850 U.S. Federal and states censuses do contain less information than those from 1850-1940.  You are only provided the name of the head of household and the remainder of the persons are grouped by race/sex/age category.  Each census during this time period does increase in information provided, for example, 1830/1840 census you are given the place of birth, race (white/colored), whether the person is naturalized born citizen and military service in the 1840 census.  You can effectively use the data to build a household profile and search other records to expand you knowledge. Continue reading

Genealogy: World War I 1917-1919, Researching Draft Registration cards

WWI SoldiersBy Barry J. Ewell
The United States instituted a draft that included 24 million men between the ages of 18 and 45.  There were three registration periods which had requested slightly different information:

  • Version 1: June 5, 1917 for all men 21-31
  • Version 2: June 5, 1918 all men who turned 21 since last draft
  • Version 3: September 12, 1918 for all men 18-45

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Genealogy: Census Records—There is more than population schedules

Census Records—There is more than population schedulesBy Barry J. Ewell

Be aware that in addition to population schedules, there were other schedules taken usually at the same time. There are resources online and in print that provide more detail on these schedules and how to use them in genealogy research. These other schedules include the following:

  • Mortality Schedule: conducted from 1850 to 1885, provides information about persons who died during the twelve months prior to the census. Continue reading