Congress Counts: History of the U.S. Census

Today’s post comes from Samantha Payne, intern in the Center for Legislative Archives in Washington, DC.  The Constitution requires that Congress conduct a census every 10 years to determine the representation of each state in the  House of Representatives. When the authors of the Constitution allocated seats in the House for the First Congress, they had no … Continue reading Congress Counts: History of the U.S. Census

Celebrating the life of an ancestor who was a “12 Years A Slave”

This past summer, Vera Williams attended her annual family reunion and Solomon Northup Day. The day honors her great-great-great grandfather, Solomon Northup, a free black man who was kidnapped and forced into slavery in 1841. When Northup escaped, he wrote a book about his experiences and—most shockingly for that era—took his kidnappers to trial. The … Continue reading Celebrating the life of an ancestor who was a “12 Years A Slave”

Facial Hair Friday: The Enumerated Mustache

Don't be fooled by the sleepy demeanor of this mustachioed man. It's 1933, and the world is changing. And the Federal Government would be recording these changes on April 1, 1940. Over 120,000 enumerators would fan out across 48 states and 2 territories, with copies of this Federal Decennial Census Population Schedule. They would use … Continue reading Facial Hair Friday: The Enumerated Mustache

Going Digital: The 1940 Census Hits the Web and YouTube

Today's post comes from Gregory Marose, an intern in the National Archives Office of Strategy and Communications. On April 2 at 9 a.m. (EDT), the National Archives will launch its first-ever online U.S. census release. By visiting 1940census.archives.gov, internet users can access a digitized version of the entire census, including more than 3.8 million images of … Continue reading Going Digital: The 1940 Census Hits the Web and YouTube

Facial Hair Friday: When Irish mustaches are smiling

Happy St. Patrick's Day! With all the hoopla over the upcoming release of the 1940 census on April 2, we haven't really been thinking about facial hair all that much. But then fellow National Archives staff member Jeannie (of the OurPresidents tumblr blog) sent me this photograph, and genealogy, facial hair, and St. Patrick's Day all … Continue reading Facial Hair Friday: When Irish mustaches are smiling