United States Census 1920

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United States  Gotoarrow.png  U.S. Census  Gotoarrow.png  1920 Census

Indexes and Images[edit | edit source]

For an article about 1920 censuses scheduled to become available for free online at FamilySearch Historical Record Collections see the U.S. Census Population Schedules, 1920  Wiki page. Ancestry.com (subscription site) has indexes and images of all 1920 federal censuses. HeritageQuestOnline.com (subscription site) has images of all 1920 federal censuses. A Soundex index for each state is also available on microfilm.

For details, see individual state census Wiki pages. For tips if the first census index search does not work, see the United States Census Searching Wiki page.

Content[edit | edit source]

1920 Census was taken beginning 1 January 1920, for thirty days, or two weeks for populations of 2,500+. 
The following information was recorded by the census taker: 

                        Name of street, ave., road
                        House number or farm
                        Number of dwelling in order of visitation
                        Number of family in order of visitation
                        Name of each person who lived w/family
                        Relationship of person to head of family
                        Home owned or rented
                        If owned, mortgaged or free
                        Color or race
                        Age at last birthday
                        Single, married, widowed or divorced
                        Year of immigration to U.S.
                        Naturalized or alien
                        If naturalized, year of naturalization
                        Attended school since 1 Sep 1919
                        Can read or write
                        Mother tongue
                        Father’s birthplace
                        Father’s mother tongue
                        Mother’s birthplace
                        Mother’s mother tongue
                        Speak English
                        Trade, profession or type of work
                        Industry, business or establishment at work
                        Number of farm schedule

1920 United States CensusA free Internet index to the 1920 United States Census can be viewed at FamilySearch.org. This index includes every name listed on the census. Index includes the name, residence, estimated birth year, age in years, birth place, relationship to head of house, gender, race or color, marital status, father birth place, mother birth place, film number, digital GS number, image number and sheet number.

1790-2000 Information: http://www.census.gov/prod/2000pubs/cff-2.pdf

Value[edit | edit source]

The 1920 census can be used to:1
                        View several instances, where women, rather than men were listed as head of household in Soundex index
                        Identify date of Naturalization
                        More specific questions asked of immigrants from Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, & Turkey 
                               could facilitate pinpointing birthplaces.


A statistical study was done in 1923 on coal miners listed in the 1920 census.  The codes used follow:

MH - coal miners who were also the heads of their households
BD - coal miners who were boarders in a household
BWF - coal miners who lived in their parent's household
USC - coal miners who were born in the United States
USW - coal miners who were born in the United States (don't know of any distinction between the w or the c)

1850-1930 Search Tips: http://www.archives.gov/genealogy/census/1850-1930.html

Unique Features and Problems[edit | edit source]

1.  Date of enumeration on heading of each page
2.  All responses supposed to be as of 1 Jan 1920
          a. Omit—children born between 1 Jan 1920 and enumeration
          b. Include—people alive on 1 Jan 1920, but dead by enumeration
3.  Year of naturalization
4.  If a farmer, it includes the corresponding farm schedule
5.  No separate schedule for the Indian population
6.  More accurate listing of place of birth for those born in Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia or Turkey
7.  Did not list some of the previous questions. (number of children, years of marriage, military service, unemployment)8.  Census included: Guam, American Samoa, Panama Canal Zone
9.  Soundex Index for each state/territory
10. Servicemen counted at duty posts, not in their families
11. Includes schedules & Soundex index for overseas military & naval forces
12. Soundex cards for institutions are found at the end of each state’s soundex section
13. Institutions at the end of the enumeration section
14. Originals destroyed by 83rd Congress

States Covered and Missing[edit | edit source]

  • All states, District of Columbia, and the Territories listed below

No States Missing  

Territories[edit | edit source]

Web Sites[edit | edit source]

1920 United States Census—A free Internet census partial index to the 1920 census can be viewed on the FamilySearch Record Search. This index shows every name listed on the census including information about each person’s residence, age, and birthplace. Census images are not included.

1790-2000 Info: http://www.census.gov/prod/2000pubs/cff-2.pdf

1850-1930 Search Tips: http://www.archives.gov/genealogy/census/1850-1930.html

FamilySearch Historical Record Collections[edit | edit source]

An online collection containing this record is located in FamilySearch.org.

A wiki article describing this collecion is found at:

United States Census Population Schedules 1920

Sources of This Collection [edit | edit source]

1. Szucs, Loretto Dennis and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking. The Source: A Guide book to American Genealogy. 3rd ed. (Provo, UT: Ancestry, 2006.)

2. Coal miners: As of 2004, information from Bill from Heritage Quest and Bethany Evans one of their professional census indexers.

How to Cite Your Sources

An example of citing these records is: United States. Bureau of the Census. 14th census, 1920. United States Census, 1920. Census page. From FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org), April 23, 2010. James B Smith, Clayton, Adams, Illinois, image number 00094.

Instructions for citing this source can be found at: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections