The 1900 census was the 12th Census of the United States. The data obtained in this census was a pretty good improvement over the 1880 census. For many researchers, the most notable improvement is the inclusion of the birth month and year of each person. Some census takers went one more step and included the day also. One other valuable addition is the number of years married, and for women with children, the number of children born to that mother and the number still living. Otherwise, the 1900 census is very similar to 1880.
The 1900 census was taken state by state, and county by county, and township by township. In 1900, the records were left in the original order the census taker visited each household, which is very useful to determine who a persons neighbors were. If you see three Wright families listed side by side, you can reasonably assume they are somehow related. Of course there are always cases where they appear to be "side by side," but were not close together at all, depending on how the census taker visited houses.
You can determine an approximate marriage year for a married couple listed in the 1900 census. The census was taken as of 1 June 1900, so you can narrow a persons approximate marriage date down to within two calendar years. If they were listed as married for 11 years in 1900, they were either married in mid to late 1888, or early to mid 1889. It should be mentioned that the marriage years given in 1900 and other census records are not always correct. This all depends on who gave the census taker the information.
The 1900 Census was a pretty good improvement over the 1880 census. Each person was listed by household including name, ages and other information for each person. I will explain what each column represents in detail below.
The census was as of 1 Jun 1900, meaning all data collected (even if collected months after that date) was supposed to reflect the family’s condition on 1 Jun 1900, meaning all ages were to be listed how they were back on June 1st, even if it was three months later when the census taker asked. It isn't known if the census taker adhered to this rule or not, but that is what they were supposed to do. The actual date he visited the households was included at the top of each page, so you can use that to determine whether the data was as of 1 June or a later date.
The "page number" that I use on my published census abstracts are normally the stamped page number. Each "page" of the 1900 census was actually two pages. The second page had no stamped number, and is usually designated by the page number of the previous page plus the letter "B," for example, page 75 and 75B. The 1900 census pages also have a "sheet" number which starts over with each township.
The 1900 census had a header at the top of each page with information on the county, the district, the date and other information.
Page Number. In the upper right is a stamped page number (on alternating pages).
State of: This is the State name.
County of: This is the County name.
Supervisor’s District No. This is a number showing the Census Supervisor’s District Number.
Enumeration District No. This is the "E.D." number that normally corresponds to a township or other county or city division.
Sheet No. This is like a page number which starts over with each new Enumeration District. The number is written under the heading, and not next to it as in other cases.
Township or other division of county: Anything listed here indicates Township or District within the county.
Name of Institution:. This is for Schools, Prisons, Hospitals, Mental Institutions and other such places where numerous people would be found.
Name of incorporated city, town or village, within above named division. This is the name of the City, Town, Village, etc.
Ward of City:. If the city is divided into wards, the ward number or designation would be listedhere.
Enumerated by me on the __ day of June, 1900. This is the date the census taker actually visited the households listed on this page. You can see that this date can be months after "1 June 1900" when the census was "as of."
Enumerator. This is the name of the man or men who took the census.
The columns for the 1900 census follows:
- In Cities
– Name of Street. If within a City or Town, the street name is given.
– House Number. If within a City or Town, the house number is given.
Number of Dwelling_house in the order of visitation.
Number of Family in the order of visitation.
Name of each Person whose place of abode on 1st day of June, 1900 was in this family.
Relationship of each person to the head of the family.
Color or Race.
Sex. Male or Female.
Month of Birth:
Age at last birthday.
Whether single, married, widowed or divorced
Number of years married
Mother of how many children
Number of them who are living
Place of Birth of this person.
Place of Birth of the Father of this person.
Place of Birth of the Mother of this person.
Year of Immigration to the United States.
Number of years in the United States.
Occupation, Trade or Profession of each Person Ten Years of age and older.
Months not employed. If this is applicable, the number of months are entered in this column.
Education. Attended School.
Education: Can read.
Education: Can write.
Education: Can speak English.
Ownership of Home: Owned or Rented
Owned Free of Mortgage
Farm or House
Number of Farm Schedule