Sunday, November 23, 2014

Census Sunday - Albert Slesser household, 1920 U.S. Census, Livingston Co., KY

Albert Slesser and his family appear in three consecutive censuses for the years 1900[1], 1910[2], and 1920[3]. In 1920, the Albert Slesser household was residing in Carrsville, Livingston County, Kentucky, as they had in 1900 and 1910. The census reports that Albert lived with his wife Ida and daughter Hallie. An extract of the census data follows:
Sheet 1-B    
Line 54 55 56
1.Street, Avenue, Road, etc. Main Street    
2.In Cities: House Number      
3.Dwelling 13    
4.Family 16    
5.Name of each person whose place of abode on January 1, 1920, was in this family. Slesser, Albert -------, Ida -------, Hallie
6.Relationship of this person to the head of the family Head Wife Daughter
7.Home owned or rented O [owned]    
8.If owned, free or mortgaged F [free]    
9.Sex M F F
10.Color Or Race W W W
11.Age at last birthday 70 58 20
12.Single, married, widowed, or divorced M M S
13.Citizenship: Year of immigration to the United States. Un    
14.Citizenship: Naturalized or alien. Un    
15.Citizenship: If naturalized, year of naturalization.      
16.Attended school any time since September 1, 1919      
17.Whether able to read yes yes yes
18.Whether able to write yes yes yes
19.Person: Place of birth Germany Illinois Kentucky
20.Person: Mother tongue. German    
21.Father: Place of birth Germany Pennsylvania Gottigen Ger
22.Father: Mother tongue. German   German
23.Mother: Place of birth Gottigen Ger Kentucky Illinois
24.Mother: Mother tongue German    
25.Whether able to speak English. yes yes yes
26.Occupation: Trade, profession, or particular kind of work done Gardener Seamstress None
27.Occupation: Industry, business, or establishment in which at work Truck    
28.Occupation: Employer, salary or wage worker, or working on own account OA [own account] W [wage worker]  
29.Occupation: Number of farm schedule.      


The enumerator's entries for Albert in column 13, "Year of Immigration to United States" and column 14, "Naturalized or Alien" are "Un." These questions were asked of persons who were foreign born and applied to Albert because he was reported to be born in Germany. In the 1920 instructions to enumerators[4] "Un" (for unknown) was to be recorded as a response "if after every effort you can not obtain the desired information". Perhaps, Albert did not know his citizenship status or when his parents immigrated to the United States. On the other hand, he may have been deliberately withholding information.
In the 1900[5] census, Ida had reported her occupation as "dress maker." In 1920, she reports her occupation as "seamstress." The title of dress maker suggests a skill in making custom clothing for women, whereas a seamstress may only operate a sewing machine to create seams or make alterations. Perhaps to the census taker these occupational titles were synonymous. Or perhaps, the nature of her work changed to reflect the wider adoption of ready-made wear.

1. 1900 U.S. census, Livingston County, Kentucky, population schedule, Carrsville Voting Precinct No. 1, Carrsville Town, p.263-B (stamped), enumeration district (ED) 57, sheet 1-B, dwelling 18, family 19, Albert H. Sleiser household; digital images, Internet Archive ( : accessed 2 Nov 2014), image 363; citing NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 539. [See Census Sunday - Albert H. Sleiser household, 1900 U.S. Census, Livingston Co., KY ]
2. 1910 U.S. census, Livingston County, Kentucky, population schedule, Magisterial District No. 5, town of Carrsville, enumeration district (ED) 105, sheet 3-A, dwelling 55, family 57, Albert H. Slesser household; digital images, ( : accessed 11 Nov 2014); citing NARA microfilm publication T624, roll 491. [See Census Sunday - Albert H. Slesser household, 1910 U.S. Census, Livingston Co., KY ]
3. 1920 U.S. census, Livingston County, Kentucky, population schedule, Magisterial District No. 5, town of Carrsville, enumeration district (ED) 119, sheet 1-B, dwelling 13, family 16, Albert Slesser household; digital images, Internet Archive ( : accessed 16 Nov 2014), image 682; citing NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 587.
4. United States, Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Fourteenth Census of the United States, January 1, 1920: Instructions to Enumerators, (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1919), 15, Para. 41; digital images, Google Books ( : accessed 20 Nov 2014).
5. 1900 U.S. census, Livingston Co., Ky., pop. sch., Carrsville Voting Precinct No. 1, Carrsville Town, ED 57, sht. 1-B, dwell. 18, fam. 19, Ida B. Sleiser.