- color (“colored persons” were now “Black” or “Mulatto)
- profession, occupation or trade of males over 15 years of age
- value of real estate owned
- place of birth—state, territory or country
- married within the year
- attended school within the year
- over 20 years and unable to read & write
- “pauper” and “convict” added to the deaf and dumb, blind, insane and idiotic section
value of personal estate added
- “In Cities” section added including name of street and house number
- relationship to head of the family
- “Civil Condition” section added (single, married, widowed/divorced)
- number of months person had been unemployed during the census year added to Occupation section
- if the person was sick or temporarily disabled and identification of the sickness or disability
- “paupers” and “convicts” dropped and “Maimed, crippled, bedridden or otherwise disabled” added under Health section
- Place of birth of the person’s father and mother added under the Nativity section
Tragically, most of the next-to-the-last census of the 20th century was destroyed.
In January 1921, a fire in the basement of the Department of Commerce—where the 1890 census was stored—became the scapegoat for its destruction. While the fire did do its fair share of damage, there is more to the story.
Documents which survived the blaze were water-logged as one can imagine, but the failure of the government to attempt to save them is simply ridiculous. In the mid-1930s, they were destroyed by a Congressional destruction authorization.
Kellee Blake’s The Fate of the 1890 Population Census, Part 1 tells this story.
- Christian name in full and initial of middle name requested
- surname moved to a separate line
- whether a soldier, sailor or marine during the Civil War or the widow of one
- “quadroon” “octoroon” and “Japanese” added to race question
- mother of how many children and how many living added
- number of years in the United States added
- whether naturalization papers had been taken out
- months employed during the census year
- ability to speak English and if not, language spoken
- “convict” and “pauper” resurface with “prisoner” and “homeless child” added
- supplemental schedule and page
Next week will conclude this series of “When Did They Start Asking THOSE Questions?”