03 March 2010

Enumeration Day

I remember when I first started to do genealogy alot of things were not explained to me. I had to figure them out with time & experience. One of the things I wish someone had explained was ENUMERATION DAY! Sounds like a movie eh? Its not.

Enumeration day is the official day of the census. Its the day that the census is "officially taken". Everything on the census basically hinges on that day. If you look closely at your census you will see the "official" enumeration date for that census at the top of the page, right above the name column. You can click on the image below to enlarge & use your back button to return to the blog.

This happens to be the 1920 census for Dayton, Ohio. If you look very carefully at the image you will see where it tells you that all information is to be taken based on residency in the household as of January 1st 1920

So if you have uncle Charlie living with you and he dies on January 2nd, 1920 he should be still shown on the census as he was living as of January 1, 1920. The date on the date line which is when the census taker actually showed up on your doorstep really isn't an issue in this at all. It shouldn't matter at all - unless of course your census taker didn't listen to the rules.

If great grandma was expecting and the baby doesn't come until January 3rd, the census taker shows up on January 15th, by census rules that baby should not appear on the 1920 census. Funky rules but still things to keep in mind when doing your census homework.

Did I mention that not all census enumeration dates are the same for all years? That's okay here's a listing to help keep you straight. Comes in handy when you see babies with ages shown as 4/12 or things like. Can make a big difference depending on how the census taker did his job.

Census Enumeration Days (US)
June 1st --- 1830 thru 1900

October 1st - -1880 Indian Schedule

April 15th -- 1910

January 1st -- 1920

April 1st -- 1930 - 1960

So now when you look at the 1920 federal census, and the date the census taker wrote was July 27, 1920 and you know uncle Charlie died on January 2nd, 1920, and he's still on the census you'll know why right?

Happy Researching!


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