The Census



I read with interest the opinions of a recent columnist about the citizenship question being added to the upcoming census.

If you are interested in family history as I am you know that in the past there were questions that tell you a great deal about the lives of your ancestors.

Where were your parents born and do the members of the household speak English? Are you a citizen? Can you read and write and how many grades did you finish in school?

How long have you been married? Do you own or rent your home and what is the value as well as the value of your personal belongings? In 1940 there were questions about the number of weeks you worked and was your employer the government or private industry. There was always the question about what you did for a living.

The earliest census were simpler. A head of household, followed by a list of persons divided into groups according to age. Perhaps that is what we should do in 2020.