You can find free 1930 census records, both online and offline. The information about an individual in this enumeration can be interesting and informative. You might enjoy seeing your grandmother as a small child in this census!
About the 1930 Census
The 1930 census was not released to the public until 2002 and is the latest one to be available. Federal privacy laws restrict the release of personal census information for 72 years. The 1940 census enumeration will be available in 2012.
This enumeration was taken as the country began its struggle with the Great Depression after the stock market crash in October, 1929. The official enumeration date was April 1, 1930.
There is much can be learned from this census as more questions were asked than in any previous enumeration. The standard questions remained the same:
- Name of each individual
- Age at last birthday
- Relation to head of household
- Marital status
- Age at first marriage
- Place of birth
- Parents' birthplace
- Native language
- Occupation and industry
- Citizenship and immigration information
The additional questions that were asked can add some interesting details about an ancestor's life. The new questions were:
- If the household had a radio
- Home value if owned or rent payment if rented
- Veteran status and war service for male respondents
- Address of each household
Native Americans living on reservations were also enumerated differently than in previous censuses. Previously there were separate census schedules. Now they were included in the general population schedule. The tribe and percentage of Native American blood was listed for an individual also for the first time.
Free 1930 Census Records Online
There are a few websites that offer 1930 census records:
- Footnote.com has free 1930 census records. While the site does charge a subscription fee, this census is free. Be aware, however, that the interface can be difficult to navigate.
- Ancestry.com has the 1930 census. While Ancestry does require a subscription to view the actual image, you can do basic searches for free. You may also be able to use your local library's subscription for free.
- Heritage Quest is another subscription site with the 1930 census. Some states participate in a program that allows public library patrons access for free. Check with your local library. Be advised that Heritage Quest only has a head of household index for 1930 and only a few states have been indexed.
Free 1930 census records are available offline as well. Genealogy libraries and state archives usually have a microfilm copy of all the censuses, including the 1930. As mentioned earlier, many public libraries have subscriptions to Ancestry.com and Heritage Quest. You can access those for free.
- Take special note of the household address on the form. This can be used when searching city directories.
- Remember that these forms were handwritten by the enumerators. There can be some serious indexing errors if the handwriting is difficult to read.
- Always look, when possible, at the households around an ancestor's listing. Many times there will be relatives living nearby.
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