1950 Census

Finding Aids for the 1950 Census

Geographic Finding Aids

An enumeration district, as used by the Bureau of the Census, was an area that could be covered by a single enumerator (census taker) in one census period. Enumeration districts varied in size from several city blocks in densely populated urban areas to an entire county in sparsely populated rural areas.

Enumeration District Maps

Enumeration district maps show the boundaries and the numbers of the census enumeration districts, which were established to help administer and control data collection. Wards, precincts, incorporated areas, urban unincorporated areas, townships, census supervisors` districts, and congressional districts may also appear on some maps. The content of enumeration district maps vary greatly. The base maps were obtained locally and include postal route maps, General Land Office maps, soil survey maps, and maps produced by city, county, and state government offices as well as commercial printers. Census officials then drew the enumeration district boundaries and numbers on these base maps.

The 1950 Census enumeration district maps may be viewed using the National Archives Catalog at https://catalog.archives.gov/search-within/821491?sort=naId%3Aasc.

For example, here is a section from the 1950 Census Enumeration District Map for Delaware, Sussex County, ED 3-1 - ED 3-79

refer to caption

Section from 1950 Census Enumeration District Maps - Delaware (DE) - Sussex County - Sussex County - ED 3-1 to 79

  • Type in the search box the following: 1950 + the county + the state and then hit enter or click on the magnifying glass; for example: 1950 Sussex Delaware

  • You can narrow the search by including a town name in the search; for example: 1950 Milford Sussex Delaware

    Note: Not all towns will have individual maps. You may need to look at county maps for some towns.

  • The search will bring back any matching results. The first three results will be listed, to see additional results click "View all Online Holdings."

  • Click the particular result you wish to see to view the larger version of the map.

  • You may use the zoom and pan features to enlarge the map and move the image on the screen.

  • If you have the address of an ancestor from 1950, find the address on the map and then look for the enumeration district number for that address. The map may have many other numbers on it. The ED number may be a two part number separated by a hyphen (in the red box below). The first number represents the county number and the second number the number of the enumeration district within that county.

Enumeration District Written Descriptions

The 1950 Census enumeration district descriptions may be viewed using the National Archives Catalog at https://catalog.archives.gov/search-within/721175?sort=naId%3Aasc

Type in the search box the following: 1950 + the county + the state and then hit enter or click on the magnifying glass; for example: 1950 Sussex Delaware

You can narrow the search by including a town name in the search; for example: 1950 Milford Sussex Delaware

In the search results, click on the title of the description to see the full description.

Stephen P. Morse's 1950 Search Engines:

Genealogist Stephen P. Morse has made available a number of useful search utilities for census and other records on his website, SteveMorse.org . Here are a few related to the 1950 Census: