The 1930 Federal Census for West Virginia is now available to researchers at the West Virginia Division of Culture and History’s Archives and History Library at the Cultural Center in the State Capitol Complex, Charleston. The National Archives and Records Administration released the census on microfilm last week at the expiration of the required 72-year waiting period for public access to the population schedules.
The 1930 population schedules provide a wealth of information about families and living arrangements and conditions as of April 1, 1930, when the census takers began the door-to-door recording. The information includes place of abode; the names of everyone who slept in the household and their relationship to the head of household; home data, including ownership of farm and radio; and personal data, including sex, age, color or race, marital status, education, place of birth and that of parents, and citizenship. The census also provides information about occupation and employment, as well as military service.
Unlike previously released censuses, only seven of West Virginia’s 55 counties—Fayette, Harrison, Kanawha, Logan, McDowell, Mercer and Raleigh—were indexed by surname for the 1930 census. All other counties will require researchers to know the county, city or town, and enumeration district in which the family or individual being looked for would have resided in 1930. A list of enumeration districts and district maps is available in the library, as are some community directories, telephone directories, and magisterial district and county maps, to assist researchers. Several companies, including Ancestry.com, have announced projects to create indexes for the 1930 census and make these indexes available for a fee.
In anticipation of the large number of researchers who will be using the newly released census, the 34 rolls of microfilm were cut into separate county rolls. Archives and History Library patrons will be permitted to access one roll of microfilm at a time. Depending on demand, the amount of time a patron can use a roll of microfilm may also be limited. To accommodate as many researchers as possible, the Division collaborated with genealogical and historical groups and public libraries to purchase a second set of population schedules, which were also repackaged into 55 separate county rolls and distributed across the state for immediate access at the local level.
Purchase of the 1930 Federal Census microfilm for the Archives and History Library was made possible through financial support from the Mining Your History Foundation.
For more information about the 1930 Federal Census, call the Archives and History Library at (304) 558-0230, ext. 168. The library is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The library is closed Sundays.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. Visit the Division’s website at www.wvculture.org for more information about programs of the Division. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
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