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Aug 19, 2009

Family Tree University

Google announced last week that it has quadrupled its searchable archive of historical news articles, many of which are free to access.
From the Genealogy Insider Blog  

The National Archives just announced that it has launched what it calls a Narations blog.  The new blog is going to focus on online public access to records of the U.S. National Archives, has announced the release of Family Tree Builder 4.0.   The Family Tree Builder software is available for free download

Read the article about Google's new improved search BBC News 

Sean shared his recent discoveries and then had some questions about the 1930 census and the Office Use Only columns.


GEM:  IPUMS USA website

The site is described as "Census microdata for social and economic research".  It's an excellent and little known web site that is dedicated to collecting and distributing US census data. Its goals are to:

  • Collect and preserve data and documentation
  • Harmonize data  
  • Disseminate the data absolutely free

1850 - 1950 Enumerator Instructions

1930 Enumerator Instructions  

But as the column implies, the census taker was instructed not to write in column 26D so in this case the instructions can't help much.  Column 26D was filled in by the staff at the census bureau after the census taker completed the task.  The codes written in the column were to assist them in tabulating statistical information which they reported to Congress.

Unfortunately these numbers really don't provide additional information because they just reflect what was written in the Occupation columns by the census taker

GEM: Tools for Occupation Codes
But if you have a curious streak and would like to see exactly what the codes meant I've got a gem for you.  Steve Morse the author of the One Step Tools shares your curiosity and he created a page on his website called  "Deciphering Language and Nativity Codes Appended to the 1930 Census in One Step."

You can learn what the occupation codes in Column 26D mean by visiting this page: "Deciphering Occupation Codes Appended to the 1930 Census in One Step." 


GEM: Agricultural Census (Non-Population Census)
Farm # - It refers to the Special census called the Farm Schedule
Listen to Family Tree Magazine podcast #12 Census secrets with Curt Witcher for more information.

Non-population census at the National Archives
Agricultural census
Where to find the records at the National Archives

GEM: Member Connect with Ancestry
David Graham. Director of Product Management at gives us a tour of the new Member Connect feature.   

This episode is sponsored by Rootsmagic