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Roots and branches

Question: I understand that the 1930 Federal Census has been released. Where can I view it?



Answer: The National Archives is the only place where the films are available at this time. San Bruno, south of San Francisco, is the closest office to Nevada County. As yet, the Family History Centers do not have the ability to order the films. The Nevada County 1930 census films have been ordered by the Doris Foley Library.




The main problem with searching the 1930 census is that the only states that have Soundex indexes are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Partial indexes will be available for Kentucky and West Virginia.

It will be necessary to either search the whole county where you expect to find your ancestors, or you must know the street, and even better, the closest cross streets. In a large city, it will be a problem. The Enumeration District number is required to order the film.

I went online to http://www.nara.gov and clicked on the 1930 census information. I was able to type in California, and chose Santa Barbara County. Knowing the street my grandmother lived on, I was able to find the enumeration district and then find the Federal Archives Roll number. When the films are available through the Family History Center, it will be ordered.

I believe my father was in Santa Barbara by then, but I do not know the address. One way to find him is to search all three films of Santa Barbara County. Another way to find an address is to check the 1930 city directory if the person was living there at the time of the census and at the time information was gathered for the directory.

As you can see, using the 1930 census will take some research. Eventually, I am sure there will be index books and films available.

For more information on the 1930 census, go to the site above. You can also join the genealogy society on June 11 at Madelyn Helling Library at 6:30 p.m. The speaker will be Pamela Bell Dallas, discussing “Good News, Bad News, the 1930 Census Is Here.”

Josie Plescia Vaughn is the librarian of the Nevada County Genealogy Society. Send questions to NCGS, P.O. Box 176, Cedar Ridge 95924, or e-mail


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