Terry's TMG Tips

Census Source Type – 1850 to 1940

This page updated 15 Apr 2014

Version Note: Applies to Versions 8 & 9

My Census Source Types article describes my general approach to citing US Census records. That article lists the five different Source Types I have developed, and provides a means to download them so they can be imported into your Project. This article describes in detail the Source Type I have developed for the 1850 to 1940 Population Schedules.

Topics Included in this Article
The Templates
The Templates used in the Source Definition
Style Notes
Some notes about the general approach used in this Source Type
Technical Notes
Notes about technical issues
Usage Notes
Notes about using the Source Type
Downloading this Source Type
Where to download the Source Type

This Source Type is designed to record one household in the General Population Schedule, the type of census record most commonly found, in the US census. It is designed for the census enumerations each decade from 1850 through 1940. The following discussion describes how the Source Type is constructed, and provides notes about its construction and usage.

The Templates

The following templates are used in this Source Type:

Full Footnote: [HOUSEHOLD] household, [TITLE]<, [COUNTY]>, [STATE], population schedule<, [LOCATION]><, Enumeration District [ENUMERATION DISTRICT]>, sheet [PAGE]<, dwelling [DWELLING]>, family [FAMILY]<, National Archives micropublication [FILM NUMBER]><, informant was [INFORMER]><, [COMMENTS]><, [CD]>
Short Footnote: [HOUSEHOLD] household, [TITLE], [COUNTY], [STATE]<, [CD]>
Bibliography: [STATE]. [COUNTY]. [TITLE], population schedule. Micropublication [FILM NUMBER]. Washington: National Archives
Reminder: Source Definition:
- Title - enter "1XX0 U.S. Census".
- County - enter name of county (omit for DC).
- Household - enter name of Head of Household, in given name surname format.
- Location - enter name of post office, town or township if given.
- State - enter name of state.
- Informer - identify the informant (1940)
- Enumeration District - enter enumeration district number (omit prior to 1880).
- Page - enter sheet or page number(s).
- Dwelling - enter number of dwelling unit.
- Family - enter family number.
- Film Number - enter film and roll numbers, as "T9-637".
- Comments (Supplemental tab) - enter location viewed and date if desired.

- Citation Detail - optionally enter any notes about how this source relates to the information recorded in this tag.

Style Notes

There are some differences between the notes produced by this template and the example in Elisabeth Mills' Evidence!. The principal one is that I repeat the head of household name in the short footnote instead of the dwelling and family numbers. I believe this makes the notes easier to follow, especially if you have a lot of census cites in your report. I've eliminated the listing of the Supervisor's District, as I've never found it to be useful in finding a census listing.

I have included the Comments element, in which I record when and where I saw the census. This is based on comments by Ms Mills that some copies of the census may be more clear than others, so recording the date and location of the copy viewed is a good idea. Now that "enhanced" copies of the census images are available online and on CDs, this seems like an especially good idea.

Many census sheets have both a hand written "sheet" number and a rubber stamped page number and letter. There seems to be no consensus on which to use, but I have decided to use the original number hand-written in the space provided, and the letter since in most cases it seems the number remains the same for each letter.

Technical Notes

The following may be helpful to those interested in creating a Source Type using this method:

Usage Notes

In the Source Definition Screen, enter the following in the fields provided:
Field Comments Example
Title Enter the census name and year 1900 U.S. Census
County Enter the county Clark Co.
Household Enter the name of the head of household Benjamin Reigel
Location Enter town or city La Center
State Enter the state Washington
Enumeration District Enter the ED number, if any 23
Page Enter the sheet number 9A
Dwelling Enter the dwelling number 178
Family Enter the family number 180
Film Number Enter film and roll numbers T9-637
(Supplemental tab)
Enter location and date viewed, and any other general notes that apply to the whole household record image viewed on Ancestry.com

When the Source is cited enter any notes specific to the individual citation, such as:

Downloading this Source Type

For those who prefer to down load this Source Type and Import it into their Project rather than create their own version, it and my other census Source Types are available from my Census Source Types article.

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