Monday, June 27, 2011

Tuesday's Tip - Inputting Data on the 1830 U.S. Census

1830 U.S. Federal Census

Last week was the 1820 census.  This week it's time to topple the 1830 census!  More cells to input data although that doesn't necessarily mean more usable information.  I'll make my point on that in a moment.  The U.S. Census Bureau sums up this census by stating:

"Prior to the passage of the census act authorizing the fifth census in 1830, President Adams, in his fourth address to the U.S. Congress on December 28, 1828, suggested the census commence earlier in the year than August 1. He also proposed that the collection of age data should be extended from infancy, in intervals of 10 years, to the “utmost boundaries of life”. These changes were incorporated into the census act of March 23, 1830. As in the previous census, the enumeration was made by an actual inquiry by the marshals or assistants at every dwelling house, or, as the law stated, by “personal” inquiry of the head of every family, and began on June 1."

So the data is better for you in that it gives more age groups (still only the heads of households though).  More age groups means it's easier for you to better analyze who is in the household and perhaps rule out or confirm that they are your ancestors.  Not more information on those people.  There is a column to mark if any were "Deaf and Dumb," blind or not naturalized, but it doesn't give you any indicators as to who those people are.  Still, it's better than nothing and they are improving.

I also found it interesting that for the whites they had 13 categories where age was broken down for the men and the women.  For slaves and free colored persons it was less than half that at 6 categories for each gender.  It does give us an insight into the minds of the people at that time.  I will stop there or may become too critical.  Historical context, I know.  I must detach myself emotionally from that.

Sadly, no attempt to collect data on business/agriculture/industry was made. The Bureau didn't state why, but I'm sure there were reasons.

Again, more good information at with their overview of the census, the map of the United States in 1830, and the historical facts for that time period are back!  It's always a great idea to check out what was going on in the country and world at that time so you can put the data into better context.

As I've mentioned before the spreadsheet will appear to have more than one page when viewed through Google Docs, but when you download it there will only be one page.  Again, the cells where there are test are locked so you can't accidentally type over the text.  It also makes it easier going from cell to cell without having to avoid the text cells.  It will just jump to the next empty cell.

Sorry, not "Notes" block on this form.  Too much information to squeeze in and the font was already too small.  Didn't want to push my luck there.  The rows for data input are numbered so it's easier when moving to the bottom group.

If you have any trouble viewing or downloading the spreadsheet, just comment or send me an email and I'll see what I can do to fix it.  So far there hasn't been any trouble since the very first sheet I posted.  I'll cross my fingers!

Let me know if there are any mistakes as well.  I'm sure you can imagine my eyes were starting to go crossed by the time I was done with this form!  Corrections and suggestions are always welcome!

To access the form simply click on the image at the top of the page or click on anywhere it says "1830 census".

Good luck and have fun tending those roots!