Family Tree Friday: Where is “Fred Tiffany” in an Enumeration District in the 1940 Census?

This week’s post comes from guest blogger Constance Potter, who is a reference archivist at the National Archives in Research Services, Archival Operations-Washington, DC. Connie is the lead expert on reference relating to the upcoming 1940 Census release on April 2, 2012.

Today we focus on the places where you can find a person in an enumeration district (ED) in the 1940 census.  Where could we find Fred Tiffany? Where you find him depends on whether he is enumerated on the regular schedule, is on the follow up schedule, or if Fred is a transient, on the transient schedule.

As with earlier censuses, the regular schedule begins with pages 1A, 1B, 2A, etc. and continues in numerical order.    In previous censuses, an ED in a large metropolitan area could be 70 or 80 pages long, but in the 1940 census, the EDs are smaller. The regular schedule contains the names of the people the enumerator caught on his or her first pass through the ED.  So if Fred was at home in Chicago on April 1 he would be on the regular schedule.

But what if Fred was visiting friends for the day and didn’t get home in time?  Enumerators made several attempts to contact everyone in their district.  If someone was not at home during the first visit and no information about the household could be obtained, a “preliminary schedule” was left so the household could have the required information ready when the enumerator came back. The sheets for these revisits are numbered beginning with page 61A so there is no overlap in sheets with persons who are enumerated in regular order.

Paragraph 18 of  Abridged  Instructions to the Enumerator: Population reads:  “Households and persons enumerated out of their regular order and for whom space has not been reserved on the Population Schedule are to be enumerated on a separate sheet (or sheets) of the Population schedule to be used for all entries made out of order. . . .The sheets of the Population Schedule used for households and persons enumerated out of order is to be numbered 61 (62, 63, etc.), and is to be placed following the schedules for persons enumerated in regular order and immediately in front of the schedules for persons enumerated as of April 8th.”

But what if Fred was living in a hotel, tourist home, or a trailer camp?  He would have been enumerated on April 8 (see Family Tree Friday: The 1940 Census, March 18, 2011).  If he were in a hotel, he would have been enumerated on the 9th.  Those people are listed on the pages beginning 81A so you would go there to look for him.

Paragraph 11 of Abridged Instructions to the Enumerator: Population reads: “Begin a new sheet of the Population Schedule for the enumeration of all persons living in hotels, tourist or trailer camps, missions, cheap one night lodging houses, etc. , who are enumerated as of the evening of the 8th.  Place this sheet (or sheets) after the last of the other schedules used in enumerating your district, and number the sheet (or sheets) 81 (82, 82, etc.)”

Paragraph 12 reads: “Enter the letter “T” in column 3, instead of the household visitation number, for the first person enumerated in each hotel, tourist home, mission, lodging house, etc., and leave column 3 vacant for other persons of these places.  Enter the letter “T” in column 3 instead of the household visitation number for the head of each household in a tourist or trailer camps in which households resided in separate dwelling units (cabin, trailers, etc.) and leave column 3 blank for other members of the household.”

Sometimes less than one full page of only three people was missed the first time, while in some large urban areas there can be eight or ten pages.  The same applies to the transient pages. Not every ED has a page 61 or a page 81.

You can tell that no pages have been missed since the Bureau of the Census consecutively stamped all of the pages beginning with the first page of a county through to the end of the country.

So Fred Tiffany could be on one of three sections of the schedule within the enumeration district.  Until the census is indexed, you possibly might need to look through three sections of schedules.

I hope this information helps you with your research.

4 thoughts on “Family Tree Friday: Where is “Fred Tiffany” in an Enumeration District in the 1940 Census?

  1. I am trying to locate a Gordon Burdett Barlow who would have been in the military in October of 1954. What do I do next?

  2. The article was very informative. Thank you. I have a interesting situation with my Dad’s family who were migrant “Oakie” farm laborers during the time of the 1940 census. We know they were either in California, Oregon, or Arizona at this time. Do you have any suggestions on where to look in the census for the government farm labor camps?
    Thank you for your time. I’m excited to start transcribing on the second.

    Kindest regards,
    Jeanette King-Hurwitz

  3. Ich suche nach einer Anna Klara Martin, die 1924 mit dem Schiff “Thuringia” von Hamburg ausgewandert ist. Können Sie mir weiterhelfen und was würde mich das Kosten?
    Vielen Dank

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