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GERMANS in BOSTON
RESOURCE CENTER

1880 CENSUS PROJECT

ABOUT THE 1880 CENSUS PROJECT -

The 1880 Census Project contains census data for (hopefully) every resident of Boston who was either born in Germany (or Prussia) OR who was described as having one or both parents born in Germany. These were the "target individuals". Persons "born in France" were included if the surname looked "German". I had to make a "judgement call" on individuals born in Russia, Poland, Austria, etc.

Entire family groups are included - if a wife was born in Germany (or had a parent born in Germany), the census information for her entire household is given. Single individuals, many of them "boarding", are also included in the data tables.

Why bother doing a survey of Germans in Boston in the 1880 Census? Can't the SOUNDEX indices be used to find target individuals?

The 1880 SOUNDEX included only those families with children under the age of 10. Families with no children (or older children) would be missed. Persons who were boarders as well as individuals who were "servants" can also be difficult to find.

The 1880 Census Project data tables are arranged by WARDS and then by Enumeration District - each WARD has its own data page. The census information has been sorted to appear in "census sequence", as it appears on the actual census sheet.

The SURNAME INDEX has been divided into "alpha-chunks" and uses the following headers:

1. WARD
2. E.D.# - enumeration district
3. HH# - household number
4. SURNAME

INDEX
A
INDEX
B
INDEX
C
INDEX
D
INDEX
E
INDEX
F
INDEX
G
INDEX
H
INDEX
I-J
INDEX
K
INDEX
L
INDEX
M
INDEX
N-O
INDEX
P-Q
INDEX
R
INDEX
S
INDEX
T-Z
INDEX
U-Z
  YGI  
???

If you discover a "surname of interest" in an index, make a note of the Ward Number, Enumeration District and Page Number then click on the corresponding WARD NUMBER in the Navigation Bar found at the top and bottom of each surname index page. There were some surnames that couldn't even be guessed at - those names are included in the YGI Index - "Your Guess Is (as good as mine)". A word of caution - some of the WARD DATA PAGES are large and may be slow to load.

The 1880 Census Project is also available sorted by "NATIVITY" - the "Nativity Project" includes Baden, Bavaria, Elsass, Hanover, Hesse, Prussia and Wuerttemberg.


 WARD 1  WARD 6 WARD 11 WARD 16 WARD 21
 WARD 2  WARD 7 WARD 12 WARD 17 WARD 22
 WARD 3  WARD 8 WARD 13 WARD 18 WARD 23
 WARD 4  WARD 9 WARD 14 WARD 19 WARD 24
 WARD 5  WARD 10 WARD 15 WARD 20 WARD 25

CENSUS DATA TABLES use these headers:

E.D. - enumeration district
WD# - ward number
SH#-LI# - sheet number and line number
HH # - household number
SURNAME
GIVEN NAME
SEX
AGE
STA - status (relationship to "head of household")
M/S - married, single, divorced, widowed
OCCUPATION
PofB - place of birth
FP/B - father's place of birth
MP/B - mother's place of birth

SEVERAL CAVEATS -
Some census pages were so badly faded that they were almost illegible. It is quite possible that "target individuals" were missed. For the most part, however, the census pages WERE readable - the handwriting of the enumerators is another thing...

In those cases where I wasn't sure of the spelling of names and/or other census information, I used a "?" to indicate that the name or word was my "best guess". An asterisk (*) in a name or word shows that a letter or series of letters was not readable. I resisted the temptation to "correct" the spellings of some surnames; some enumerators were VERY creative spellers!

The 1880 Census did NOT use any designation for the "head of household". On the actual census page, that cell was left blank. I elected to use "head" in the "STATUS" column so that the table data would be easier to sort.

Some enumerators made errors (!) in "ditto-ing" places of birth - putting the father's POB where the mother's should have been. I tried to enter these cases just as I saw them (even though I KNEW the information was wrong). Finally, DO remember that this is a WYGIWIS project - What You Get Is What I Saw... and, by the way, if YOU want to participate in this data gathering project, let me know!

Many MANY thanks to Miss Joy (Queen of Nit-Pickers) who was not only kind enough to check the code on the first pages, but also (somehow) waved her Magic Wand over the data base files, turning them into MOST elegant (and much smaller) text files. To paraphrase an old Beatles' song - "I get by with a LOT of help from my friends!"


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This Resource Center page was updated on 18 Jun 2001


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