Monday, July 24, 2017

Breaking News - - Census - - Back in 1900

Copyright 2017, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Things pop up when I research and they have resurfaced while I am working on consolidation of my computer and ALLLLLLLL those files.  One was a few articles that discussed the 1900 census enumeration.  Found during a surname search for Darden in newspapers.

From the June 1, 1900 issue of the Virginian Pilot:


Takers of the Tweltfh U.S. Census to Start Enumeration.

They will Ask Personal Questions, but Uncle Same Has Ordered Them Asked - - 
Who the Enumerators Are - - The Pay They Get.

The census takers will begin their rounds at 8 o'clock this morning.  They go out armed with authority, and though they will ask some personal questions, it's Uncle Same himself who has ordered these inquiries, and there's no use to kick.  You're liable to a fine from $100 to $500 if you fail to answer the questions, but, on the other hand, you are protected from gossipping enumerators by a provision placing a like fine on enumerators divulging any information they secure. Neither, are they allowed to keep a duplicate of the answers.

The enumerators went through their final drill yesterday afternoon before Mr. E. M. Darden, special agent of Census Supervisor H.E. Smith, of this district.

The pay of the enumerators will be as follows:  Two and a half cents for each person listed; 5 cents for each death recorded; 5 cents for the name of each owner of live stock; 5 cents for each person enumerated who has very defective sight, hearing or speech."

(Article goes on to list the enumerators of Portsmouth, Norfolk, and Berkley, Virginia. I have seen other articles as I research that mention similar.  You might find something about one of your ancestors this way.  I know I have at least one enumerator from Man's family.)

The images are the columns and questions asked on the 1900 census:

From the Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk, Virginia, June 16, 1900:



The census takers in Norfolk were supposed to have completed their enumeration of the population yesterday, but, several of the enumerators having large districts failed to cover their territory in the allotted time.  Their time will have to be extended a day or two.  Some of them will not complete their work today, and probably Monday and Tuesday will be taken up by these enumerators in completing their canvas.

Mr. E. M. Darden, special agent of Census Supervisor Smith, of this district, said yesterday that he believed the population of Norfolk would reach nearly 70,000, or maybe 75,000.  Every effort is being made to get a full count.

Through the co-operation of the police force the homeless class is being enumerated. 

There are a large number of deck hands in Norfolk, who would never be found at their supposed homes by the enumerators."

I found the fines and the amounts paid each enumerator to be quite interesting.  As well as the mention of the guess of the population count, the homeless and "deck hands" counting.  It should be noted, that according to a Wikipedia page about Norfolk that the population for 1900 was reported at 46,624.  Berkley was annexed into Norfolk on January 1, 1906, no count was found in a quick search.  The population of Portsmouth was reported on a Wikipedia page to be 17,427 in 1900.  It appears that Mr. Darden's suggested 70,000 to 75,000 population of the "district" was fairly close.  Well done Mr. Darden.   (P.S.  Now, WHO are you Mr. E. M. Darden?)


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