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image of the Electric Tabulating System<br />(The Tabulator)
Electric Tabulating System
(The Tabulator)
 
  Overview        Card Codes        Occupation Codes        Birthplace Codes        Why Take a Census?

1890 Census: The Meaning of the Hollerith Card Codes

Viewed from today, the 1890 census contained quite a few oddities. It was the first, and only, census that attempted to count the number of Civil War veterans who were still living. Another notable difference was the governments approach to race, especially for Blacks. When asking about race, the government used W for caucasion, B for Negro, Mu for Mulatto (one black parent and one white parent), Qd for Quadroon (one black grandparent and three white grandparents) and Oc for Octoroon (one black great-grandparent and seven white great-grandparents). That category system was never used again in the US Census. The government also counted Indians, In, but not all Indians. The Census only counted "civilized Indians" and that was defined as those Indians who payed taxes!

The level of education that we see now was not common in 1890. The census taker had codings for those who could read, those who could write and those who could do both.

Hollerith Card: This is a reader card which showed the coding for each potential punched hole.
(Hollerith Card: This is a reader card which showed the coding for each potential punched hole.)


Hollerith Card: This is a color-coded key for the meaning of the codes used on the 1890 Hollerith Card.
(Hollerith Card: This is a color-coded key for the meaning of the codes used on the 1890 Hollerith Card. See the chart below.)



 

Field 1

Civil War Veterans

CM, CL, CS††††† Marine, Sailor, Soldier

UM, UL, US†††† Marine, Sailor, Soldier

Confederate Army

United States Army

Field 2

Relationship (family)

Hd†† Head of Household

Wf†† Wife

MbMember of family

O†††† Other

Field 3

Race

Jp††† Japanese

Ch†† Chinese

B†††† Negro

W††† White

In†††† Civilized Indian (taxpaying)

Mu†† Mulatto

Qd††† Quadroon

Oc†††† Octoroon

Field 4

Gender

Male or Female

 

Field 5 & 6

Your Age

Combination of numbers

Un†††† Unknown

0††††††† if under 1 year old

Mo†††# of months if a baby

Field 7

Conjugal Condition

Dv††††† Divorced

Un††††† Unknown

Wd†††† Widow/Widower

Sg†††††† Single

Mr††††† Married more than 1 year

CY†††††† Married this year

†††††††††††††† (in the Census Year)

Field 8

# of Children born

Up to 19 children

 

Field 9

# of Children alive

Up to 19 children

 

Field 10 & 11

Your birthplace

Combination of upper case letters

and lower case letters

St††††† birth was in state of residence

Un†††† Unknown

Field 12

Motherísbirthplace

Two Letter Country Codes

 

Field 13

Fatherísbirthplace

Two Letter Country Codes

 

Field 14

# of years in the US

 

 

Field 15

Citizenship for Foreign-born

Al††††† Alien

Na†††† Naturalized citizen

Pa††††† First Papers submitted

Un†††† Unknown

Field 16 & 17

Occupation

Combination of upper case lettersand lower case letters

NG††† Not Gainfully employed or

††††††††† in School

Field 18

Unemployed

1-12Months unemployed

 

Oc

O

Field 19

Education

OK†††† Can read and write

W††††† Can read but not write

R††††††† Can write but not read

-------------OR-----------

1-9††† Number of months in school

0††††††† Not in school

Field 20

Language Spoken

Un†††† Understand English?

En††††† English

Ot†††††† Other

Ft†††††† Fatherís language

Mt††††† Motherís language

 

Field 21

Tenure

Fh†††††† Farm Hired (Rented)

FM††††† Farm Owned (w/ mortgage)

Ff†††††† Farm owned Free and clear

X†††††††† Does not apply

Hh††††† Home Hired (Rented)

Hf†††††† Home owned Free and clear

Hm†††† Home Owned (w/ mortgage)

 

Far Left Side

Location

State, county, city,local divisions and

Enumerator District