Research Our Records

1900 Federal Population Census - Part 1

See Also:


Collectively, the records in the National Archives document the history of the United States government from the First Continental Congress. Most of the records were originally created by the legislative, judicial, or executive branches to satisfy legal obligations or to meet administrative needs. In addition, the records contain information of importance for understanding various aspects of American life, both past and present.

Although no federal record was ever created specifically to fulfill the needs of the genealogist, the holdings of the National Archives have become valuable sources of genealogical information. Perhaps the richest source for genealogists is the information contained in the federal decennial population census schedules.

This catalog is a necessary finding aid for those who wish to order microfilm copies of the 1900 census schedules.



This catalog lists the 1900 Soundex system (reproduced as a separate microfilm publication for each state and territory) and the 1900 population census schedules (reproduced as microfilm publication T623). For a guide to the Soundex system, see Appendix I of this catalog. The census schedules are arranged by state or territory and then by county.

The 1900 Census Schedules

Federal decennial population census schedules contain a wealth of information for genealogists, historians, and social scientists. Census schedules are of use to the family historian and researcher interested in westward expansion, the status of free and slave labor, regional and local history, immigration, and so forth. Often they provide evidence of citizenship.

The 1900 census consisted originally of seven schedules. Two population schedules were prepared, one for native Americans and one for all other residents. These are the schedules that are reproduced as microfilm publication T623. The five remaining schedules, containing information on agriculture, manufacturers, mortality, and crime, are not available from the National Archives.

As a rule the information gathered in each successive decennial census is progressively more detailed. The 1900 census schedules, which contain the most information of all the schedules released to date, give for each person: name; address; relationship to the head of the household; color or race; sex; month and year of birth; age at last birthday; marital status; if a wife is listed within the household, then the number of years married, number of children born of that marriage, and number of children living; places of birth of each individual and of the parents of each individual; citizenship; if the individual is foreign born, then the year of immigration and the number of years in the United States; the citizenship status of foreign born individuals over age 21; occupation; whether or not person can read, write, and speak English; whether home is owned or rented; whether or not home is a farm; and whether or not home is mortgaged.



Card Index (Soundex)

A card index to the 1900 census schedules was prepared by the Work Projects Administration during the 1930s. Information was abstracted from the census schedules and placed on filecards.

The cards give name, race, month and year of birth, age, citizenship status, place of residence by state and county, civil division, and, where appropriate for urban dwellers, the city name, house number, and street name. The cards also list the volume number, enumeration district number, and page and line numbers of the original schedules from which the information was taken.

Three types of cards were prepared: household cards; individual cards; and cards for institutions, military posts, naval stations, and U.S. flag vessels.

Household cards show the name of the head of the household, race, month and year of birth, age, birthplace, and citizenship status if foreign born; a street address may be included. The card then lists each member of the household by name and shows the relationship to the head of the household, month and year of birth, age, birthplace, and citizenship status if foreign born. For persons living within the house who were not members of the immediate family of the head of the household, an individual card was also prepared.

Individual cards were prepared for persons living alone; persons living with families who were not immediate members of the family; members of an immediate family but who had different surnames; persons in hotels, boarding and rooming houses, and institutions; persons on military posts and naval ships and at naval stations; and persons enumerated on U.S. flag vessels in all U.S. ports on the first day of the census only. These cards give the individual's name, month and year of birth, age, birthplace, citizenship status, address, name of person or institution with whom enumerated, and any relationship to that person or institution.

Institution, military post, naval station, and U.S. flag vessel cards show only the address of the establishment and the number of persons enumerated. Names of the individual persons are not listed.

The cards are arranged by state or territory (a separate microfilm publication for each) and thereunder by the Soundex system; i.e., alphabetically by the first letter of the surname, thereunder by a code number representing the sound of the surname, and thereunder alphabetically by first name.

A guide for the use of the Soundex system is reproduced as Appendix I to this catalog. Appendix II contains a list of abbreviations used for relationships and citizenship status on the cards.


Enumeration Districts

Because of errors in names transcribed and because of variant uncommon spellings of a name, the researcher may not be able to locate an entry in the Soundex system for a given head of family or individual living in a specific area. Persons wishing to consult the schedules for a given town, a minor civil division or geographic area, or a ward of a large city need to know the enumeration district numbers assigned to that designated place.

Microfilm Publication T1210: Census Enumeration District Descriptions, 1900

Microfilm Publication T1210, Census Enumeration District Descriptions, 1900, arranged alphabetically by state and thereunder by county, identifies the enumeration district number assigned within states, counties, and cities. The enumeration district boundaries described in T1210 are as they were in 1900. Present-day boundaries may not be the same. Consult local sources if you are not sure.

A list of the rolls for T1210 follows. Prices and ordering procedures for this microfilm publication are the same as for the census schedules and Soundex. Copies of T1210 are also available for researcher use in each of the National Archives regional archives. A list of addresses appears at the end of this introduction.


Roll   States
1 Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut
2 Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois
3 Indian Territory, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas
4 Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts
5 Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana
6 Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York (part), supervisor's districts 1-3
7 New York (part), supervisor,s districts 4-19, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio
8 Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania
9 Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont
10 Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming



Other Microfilm Catalogs

This catalog supplements the Federal Population Censuses, 1790-1890, the 1910 Federal Population Census, and the 1920 Federal Population Census catalogs, which contain details for ordering copies of the population schedules for 1790-1920 and of the 1880-1920 Soundexes.

Printed versions of these catalogs can also be ordered. For information about fees and the ordering of these catalogs, please contact Publications Distribution (NECD), National Archives, Room G9, Seventh and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20408; telephone 202-501-7190 or toll-free 1-866-272-6272.


Microfilm Availability and Access

Microfilmed copies of census records are available at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, at NARA's 13 regional archives, through the National Archives Microfilm Rental Program, and at many large libraries and genealogical societies that have purchased all or some of the microfilm, and through purchase.

Ordering Paper Copies by Mail

The National Archives in Washington, DC, can provide paper copies of specifically identified pages of federal population census schedules through the mail. You can order these online or use NATF Form 82 (rev. 1990) and provide the following information: the name of the individual, the page number, census year, state, and county. For the 1880 through 1920 censuses, the enumeration district is also necessary.

Frequently it is possible to use a census index to locate this information. Many private firms have produced statewide indexes to census records for specific years. These generally are available throughout the country in National Archives regional archives and in libraries that have genealogical collections.

Buying Digitized Microfilm

Digitized microfilm publications of National Archives records are for sale.   

A check or money order made payable to the National Archives Trust Fund must accompany each order. Orders may also be charged to VISA or MasterCard accounts. Government agencies, educational institutions, and businesses may purchase microfilm on an accounts-receivable basis but must submit purchase orders.

FREE Publication FREE publications:
National Archives and Records Administration
Archives I Research Support Branch
700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20408-0001

866-272-6272 (toll-free)
or 202-357-5332


If you need more information on how to order, details of specific shipping charges, or help identifying which rolls of a publication you wish to purchase, please contact Publications Distribution (NECD), National Archives, Room G9, Seventh and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20408.


NARA's Regional Facilities

For current information about hours of operation, please call the appropriate regional records services facility.

National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC

The National Archives at Boston
Areas Served: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont

The National Archives at New York City
Area Served: New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands

The National Archives at Philadelphia
Area Served: Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia

The National Archives at Atlanta
Area Served: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee

National Archives at Chicago
Area Served: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin

National Archives at Kansas City
Area Served: Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska

The National Archives at Fort Worth
Area Served: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas

National Archives at Denver
Area Served: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming

The National Archives at Riverside
Area Served: Arizona; southern California counties of Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura; and Clark County, Nevada

The National Archives at San Francisco
Area Served: North California, Hawaii, Nevada (except Clark County), American Samoa, and the Pacific Ocean area

The National Archives at Seattle
Area Served: Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington


Appendix I.

The Soundex Coding System

Every Soundex code consists of a letter and three numbers, suchas S-650. The letter is always the first letter of the surname, whether it is a vowel or a consonant. Disregard the remaining vowels and W, Y, and H, and assign numbers to the next three consonants of the surname according to the Soundex coding guide found below. If there are not three consonants following the initial letter, use zeros to fill out the three-digit code. For example, Lee would be coded as L-000.

Most surnames can be coded using the Soundex coding guide.

Code     Key Letters and Equivalents

 1       b, p, f, v

 2       c, s, k, g, j, q, x, z

 3       d, t

 4       l

 5       m, n

 6       r

Names with prefixes, double letters, or side-by-side letters that have the same number of the Soundex coding system as well as Native American, Asian, and female religious figure names are described below.

Names with Prefixes

If the surname has a prefix, such as van, Von, De, Di, or Le, code it both with and without the prefix because it might be listed under either code. The surname vanDevanter, for example, could be V-531 or D-153.

Mc and Mac are not considered prefixes.

Names with Double Letters

If the surname has any double letters, they should be treated as one letter. Thus, in the surname Lloyd, the second L should be crossed out; in the surname Gutierrez, the second R should be crossed out.

Names with Side-by-Side Letters

A surname may have different letters that are side by side and have the same number on the Soundex coding guide; for example, PF in Pfister (1 is the number for both P and F); CKS in Jackson (2 is the number for C, K, and S). These letters should be treated as one letter. Thus in the name Pfister, F should be crossed out; in the name Jackson, K and S should be crossed out.

Native American and Asian Names

A phonetically spelled Native American or Asian name was sometimes coded as if it were one continuous name. If a distinguishable surname was given, the name may have been coded in the normal manner. For example, Dances with Wolves might have been coded as Dances (D-522) or as Wolves (W-412), or the name Shinka-Wa-Sa may have been coded as Shinka (S-520) or Sa (S-000). If Soundex cards do not yield expected results, researchers should consider other surname spellings or variations on coding names.

Female Religious Figures

Nuns or other female religious figures with names such as Sister Veronica may have been members of households or heads of households or institutions where a child or children age 10 or under resided. Because many of these religious figures do not use a surname, the Soundexes frequently use the code S-236, for Sister, whether or not a surname exists.


Appendix II

Abbreviations and Terms Used in Soundex Cards

A ........ Aunt

Ad ....... Adopted

AdCl ..... Adopted child

AdD ...... Adopted daughter

AdGcl .... Adopted grandchild

AdM ...... Adopted mother

AdS ...... Adopted son

Al ....... Aunt-in-law

Ap ....... Apprentice

Asst ..... Assistant

At ....... Attendant

B ........ Brother

Bar ...... Bartender

BBoy ..... Bound boy

BGirl .... Bound girl

Bl ....... Brother-in-law

Bo ....... Boarder

Boy ...... Boy

Bu ....... Butler

C ........ Cousin

Cap ...... Captain

Cha ...... Chamber Maid

Cil ...... Cousin-in-law

Cl ....... Child

Coa ...... Coachman

Com ...... Companion

Cook ..... Cook

D ........ Daughter

Dl ....... Daughter-in-law

Dla ...... Day laborer

Dom ...... Domestic

Dw ....... Dish washer

Emp ...... Employee

En ....... Engineer

F ........ Father

FaH ...... Farm hand

FaL ...... Farm laborer

FaW ...... Farm worker

FB ....... Foster brother

FF ....... Foster father

Fi ....... Fireman

First C .. First cousin

FL ....... Father-in-law

FM ....... Foster mother

FoB ...... Foster brother

FoS ...... Foster son

FoSi ..... Foster sister

GA ....... Great aunt

Gcl ...... Grandchild

GD ....... Granddaughter

GF ....... Grandfather

GGF ...... Great-grandfather

GGGF ..... Great-great-grandfather

GGGM ..... Great-great-grandmother

GGM ...... Great-grandmother

GM ....... Grandmother

Gml ...... Grandmother-in-law   

GN ....... Grand or great nephew

GNi ...... Grand or great niece

Go ....... Governess

God Cl ... God child

GS ....... Grandson

Gsl ...... Grand son-in-law

GU ....... Great uncle

Gua ...... Guardian

Guest .... Guest

Hb ....... Half brother

Hbl ...... Half brother-in-law

He ....... Herder

Help ..... Help

H.Gi ..... Hired girl

Hh ....... Hired hand

Hk ....... Housekeeper

Hlg ...... Hireling

Hm ....... Hired man

HMaid .... Housemaid

HSi ...... Half sister

HSil ..... Half sister-in-law

Husband .. Husband

Hw ....... Houseworker

I ........ Inmate

L ........ Lodger

La ....... Laborer

Lau ...... Launderer

M ........ Mother

Maid ..... Maid

Man ...... Manager

Mat ...... Matron

ML ....... Mother-in-law

N ........ Nephew

Ni ....... Niece

Nil ...... Niece-in-law

Nl ....... Nephew-in-law

Nu ....... Nurse

O ........ Officer

P ........ Patient

Pa ....... Partner

Ph ....... Physician

Por ...... Porter

Pr ....... Prisoner

Pri ...... Principal

Prv ...... Private

Pu ....... Pupil

R ........ Roomer

S ........ Son

Sa ....... Sailor

Sal ...... Saleslady

Sb ....... Stepbrother

Sbl ...... Step brother-in-law

Scl ...... Step child

Sd ....... Stepdaugther

Sdl ...... Step daughter-in-law

Se ....... Servant

Se.Cl .... Servant's child

Sf ....... Stepfather

Sfl ...... Step father-in-law

Sgd ...... Step granddaughter

Sgs ...... Step grandson

Si ....... Sister

Sl ....... Son-in-law

Sm ....... Stepmother

Sml ...... Step mother-in-law

Ss ....... Stepson

Ssi ...... Stepsister

Ssil ..... Step sister-in-law

Ssl ...... Step son-in-law

Su ....... Superintendent

Ten ...... Tenant

U ........ Uncle

Ul ....... Uncle-in-law

Vi ....... Visitor

W ........ Wife

Wa ....... Warden

Wai ...... Waitress

Ward ..... Ward

Wkm ...... Workman

Wt ....... Waiter

National Archives Trust Fund Board
Washington, DC
Revised 1996