Well, if ever I wanted to open a full can of wrigglin’ worms, the history of the U.S. Census would rate high. I have been delving back into my own family history lately, and any researcher of that ilk will tell you that the life blood of many a new branch on the family tree begins with the census.
I will not attempt to scrawl an in depth history of the census. You can do that yourself. However, here are some fun links I recently found about what it’s like to be a census taker. You know, way back before computers, and beyond.
What Did A ’40s Census-Taker Look Like? — Here you have a brief article from LIFE magazine. The photos are posed, but they convey a great deal about what life was like in middle America coming out of the 30’s.
Here we have an article from AOL – yes! AOL! From 2010, this article will give you some indication of how antiquated the fact gathering system was, even in 2010. DISCLAIMER: If this link is broken when you click it, don’t come cryin’ to me…
Here I leave you with a swell link to the actual Census Bureau website. Fascinating stuff! On the left margin are links to facts about the progression of how the census changed over time. As you might imagine, many folks have looked upon census takers as intruders, bent on collecting information for nefarious purposes. In actuality, the census was conceived and perpetuated so the people of the United States can be fairly represented. If you disagree with that perspective well, that’s your right. I highly suggest however, that if the census man comes to your door, ask questions first. Better yet; answer the questions. ~TH~