Part 4: Start Your 1930 Census Research
To start your 1930 census research, here is a checklist of things you can do:
- Make a list of all the people you want to look for in the 1930 census.
Think broadly--ancestors, their siblings, cousins, etc.--anybody to whom you are related.
- Collect addresses for these people from city directories if they lived in a city.
NARA has several hundred rolls of circa 1930 city directories purchased from a private vendor.
For the complete list, see Circa 1930 City Directories Available at NARA.
Many libraries have city directories for local cities.
- Identify the enumeration district (ED) in which each address was located.
There are currently five ways to do this:
- Use NARA microfilm publication T1224, Descriptions of Census Enumeration Districts, 1830-1950, rolls 61-90,
which contains text descriptions of the 120,105 enumeration districts used by the Bureau of the Census in 1930.
For the 1930 census, each ED number had two parts: a prefix and a suffix. The prefix is the county number and the suffix is the individual ED. For example, Amanda Township in Allen County, Ohio, was ED 2-1, with "2" representing Allen County and "1" representing Amanda Township.
Here is example edited data from Allen County, Ohio:
Description 2-1 Amanda Twp. 2-2 Elida village 2-3 American Twp. excluding Elida village 2-4 Harrod village 2-5 Auglaize Twp. excluding Harrod village 2-6 Bath Twp. 2-7 Lima State Hospital for the Criminal Insane 2-8 Lafayette village 2-9 Jackson Twp. excluding Lafayette village 2-10 Delphos city, Ward 1, bounded by (N) city limits; (E) city limits, 13th extended, Franklin extended, Franklin, 10th extended, city limits, Ft. Jennings Rd., city limits; (S) 3d; (W) Miami & Erie Canal. 2-11 Delphos city, Ward 2, bounded by (N) 3d; (E) city limits, Euclid Ave., Euclid Ave. extended, city limits; (S) city limits, Spencer Ave., South, South extended; (W) Miami & Erie Canal. 2-12 (and so forth)
- Use NARA microfilm publication M1930, Enumeration District Maps for the Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930 (36 rolls),
which contains color reproductions of 5,000 maps. Larger maps were filmed five times: an overall shot, then a shot of each quarter of the map.
The Bureau of the Census marked the ED number and ED boundaries in orange pencil on these maps.
These maps are particularly useful for larger cities, but are also helpful for rural areas.
- Use NARA microfilm publication M1931, Index to Selected City Streets and Enumeration Districts, 1930 Census (7 rolls).
For more than 50 cities, each street is listed along with the ED number(s) for that street.
If the street was in more than one ED, it gives the range of addresses found in each ED For example, 100-500 Erie Street might be in ED 5-10, and 501-1000 Erie Street might be in ED 5-11.
- Use NARA microfilm publication T1224, Descriptions of Census Enumeration Districts, 1830-1950, rolls 61-90, which contains text descriptions of the 120,105 enumeration districts used by the Bureau of the Census in 1930.
- Find your Native American ancestors in NARA microfilm publication M595, Indian Census Rolls, 1885-1940 (692 rolls).
Indians enrolled in tribes and living on Indian Reservations are found in this microfilm publication.