1930 Census

The 1930 U.S. census of Virginia and Washington, D.C., is now available to researchers at the Virginia Room. The census is a valuable resource for family historians, and provides a glimpse into the lives of Americans as the country entered the Great Depression. The microfilm of the census was made available to the public this spring by the National Archives, after a mandatory 72-year waiting period.

Since 1790, the census has been taken every 10 years, as required by the U.S. Constitution. From 1880 through 1930, census takers listed all members of a household, their relationship to the head of household, age, birthplace, and where their parents were born, as well as a series of questions unique to each census. In 1930, one such unique question concerned whether an individual was a veteran and of which war: as military records can be very useful to family researchers, this answer will be particularly welcome. Another question asked whether or not they owned a radio.

Family history researchers using the 1930 census need to know where their ancestors were living at the time. The Virginia Room's large collection of Washington, D.C., city directories can help provide addresses for city residents and institutions. The Virginia Room does not own the Soundex index of the Virginia census.

The Virginia Room holds the Fairfax County Public Library's genealogy and local history collection, and its resources can be helpful to anyone interested in family history.

More information about the 1930 census is available on the National Archives website.

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